PhpStorm 2019.3 Help

Accessibility features

PhpStorm lets you enable various accessibility features to accommodate your needs. You can use a screen reader or adjust font size, colors, and the behavior of certain UI elements to make the process of working with PhpStorm easier.

Set up a screen reader

Currently, we fully support screen readers for PhpStorm on Windows.

Enable a screen reader for Windows

  1. Download and enable your preferred screen reader. Check the following recommended screen readers:

    • NVDA: use the NVDA 2015 or later. If you are using a 32-bit version of NVDA, you must install 32-bit JRE on your machine, as this version of NVDA requires C:\Windows\SysWOW64\WindowsAccessBridge-32.DLL to work with PhpStorm. If NVDA cannot locate this file, the NVDA Event Log window displays a message.

    • JAWS: download the version you need and restart your computer to enable the JAWS screen reader.

  2. Ensure you have installed Java Access Bridge and the proper Java version for your screen reader, as follows:

    • To enable Java Access Bridge, open the command prompt and type [JRE_HOME]\bin\jabswitch -enable, where [JRE_HOME] is the directory of the JRE on your machine. For Java version 1.8, Java Access Bridge is part of JDK and you don't need to download or enable it separately.

    • If your screen reader is 32-bit, install the 32-bit JRE version 1.7 or later. If your screen reader is 64-bit, install the 64-bit JRE version 1.7 or later.

    Your computer may have multiple versions of some important components of Java Access Bridge and they may not be compatible across versions. You need to verify that your Java Access Bridge configuration is correct.

    If your screen reader is 32-bit, ensure that C:\Windows\SysWOW64\WindowsAccessBridge-32.DLL is present and has a version number of 7.x.x.x or later. The file's description should read "Java(TM) Platform SE 7".

Install and set up PhpStorm

  1. Download and install PhpStorm.

  2. To enable screen reader support before the initial launch of PhpStorm, do the following:

    • Open the configuration directory that contains personal settings, such as, keymaps, color schemes, and so on.

      Syntax
      %HOMEPATH%\.<product><version>\config
      Example
      C:\Users\JohnS\.PhpStorm2019.3\config
      Syntax
      ~/Library/Preferences/<product><version>
      Example
      ~/Library/Preferences/PhpStorm2019.3
      Syntax
      ~/.<product><version>/config
      Example
      ~/.PhpStorm2019.3/config
    • Create a file called idea.properties.

    • Add the ide.support.screenreaders.enabled=true property to the file you have created.

  3. Launch PhpStorm. The Support screen readers option located in Settings / Preferences | Appearance & Behavior | Appearance will be enabled.

Customize the IDE

You can customize the IDE depending on your accessibility needs.

Adjust colors for red-green color vision deficiency

You can adjust colors if you have red-green color vision deficiency. In this case, code fragments such as errors that are usually highlighted in red or strings that are usually green, will change the color (red will change to orange, green will change to blue). The color of the progress bar in the test runner will also get adjusted so it can be easily recognized.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Appearance and Behavior | Appearance.

  2. From the options on the right, select the Adjust colors for red-green vision deficiency (protanopia, deuteranopia) option and click OK to save your changes.

    Check the following example with the Before image that has String highlighted in green color and Errors highlighted in red and the After image where the colors are adjusted:

    Highlighting before adjusting colors
    Highlighting after adjusting colors

Add the contrast color for scrollbars

You can make scrollbars in the editor more visible.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Appearance and Behavior | Appearance.

  2. From the options on the right, under Accessibility section, select Use contrast scrollbars.

Configure colors for code elements, editor, scrollbar, hyperlinks, and so on

You can adjust colors for code elements, errors, elements of the editor, and tool windows. You can also configure a color for the vertical scrollbar in the editor.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | Color Scheme | General.

  2. From the options list on the right, select an element for which you want to adjust the color. For example, you can select Code and adjust colors for injected language fragments or matched braces, and so on. Click OK to save the changes.

You can also adjust colors for the debugger, consoles and other parts of the IDE: select the appropriate node in the list of options located in Settings/Preferences | Editor | Color Scheme.

Override the default UI fonts

You can override the default fonts of the UI elements.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Appearance and Behavior | Appearance.

  2. From the options on the right, select Use custom font. From the list of fonts, select the one you need and in the Size field, specify the font's size.

    Click OK to save the changes.

Resize tool windows

You can resize the actual tool windows vertically or horizontally using shortcuts.

  1. To resize vertically up or down, press Ctrl+Shift+Up or Ctrl+Shift+Down.

  2. To resize horizontally left or right, press Ctrl+Shift+Left or Ctrl+Shift+Right.

Adjust text size in the editor

You can change font and a size of the text in the editor.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | General.

  2. From the options on the right, select the Change font size (Zoom) with Ctrl+Mouse Wheel option to quickly change the text size (turning the mouse wheel) while you are working in the editor.

  3. If you need to specify the exact font size, select Editor | Font.

  4. From the options on the right, specify the font, its size, line spacing, and other available options. Click OK to save changes.

Customize shortcuts

You can configure custom shortcuts to actions that you frequently use.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Keymap.

  2. From the list of options on the right such as menus, actions, and tools, select the action you need.

  3. Right-click the selected item and from the context menu, select an action you want to perform such as Add keyboard shortcut, Add mouse shortcut, or Add abbreviation.

  4. In the dialog that opens, specify a shortcut. If you need, select the Second stroke option and specify an additional key for the shortcut. Click OK to save the changes.

    Click OK with the mouse. If you press Enter PhpStorm will consider it a shortcut.

Customize smart keys behavior

You can configure the behavior of smart keys.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | General | Smart keys.

  2. From the options on the right, select or clear the smart keys options, for example, you can clear the Insert paired brackets or the Insert paired quotes option that automatically inserts a closing bracket or a quote since it might not be useful when you use a screen reader. Click OK to save changes.

Disable automatic code completion

You can disable automatic code completion to avoid auto-inserting code elements when you work in the editor with a screen reader.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | General | Code completion.

  2. Clear the Smart Type Completion option.

Customize code folding

You can control the code folding behavior and specify what should or should not be folded.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | General | Code folding.

  2. From the options on the right, select what should be collapsed by default.

Customize code style

You can configure spaces, tabs and indents.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | Code Style | [Language].

  2. From the options on the right, click Tabs and Indents to configure tabs or Spaces to configure where and how to use spaces.

  3. Click OK to save the changes.

Manage the mouse pointer focus mode

You can configure how the mouse pointer behaves when opening dialogs.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Appearance and Behavior | Appearance.

  2. From the options on the right, select Automatically position mouse cursor on default button.

    Place the mouse pointer at the default button when a dialog opens.
  3. Click OK to save the changes.

Read gutter icons and line numbers in the editor

You can configure a screen reader to read line numbers, VCS annotations, debugger, and other icons that are located in the left gutter of your editor.

  1. Open your file in the editor.

  2. Press Shift+Alt+6 and F simultaneously to focus on the gutter. PhpStorm starts reading from the line where your caret is currently located.

  3. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to move between lines. If you need to move to the next or previous gutter element in the line, use the Right and Left arrow keys respectively.

    While the focus is in the gutter, the screen reader can read the gutter icon tooltip if it is available.

    To access a tooltip, press the double shortcut Shift+Alt+6, T. To browse through the tooltip's content (symbol by symbol), use the Right and Left arrow keys.

  4. Press Escape to switch the focus back to the editor.

Set a high contrast color theme

You can set a high contrast interface theme to work in PhpStorm. The interface theme defines the appearance of windows, dialogs, and controls.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Appearance and Behavior | Appearance.

  2. On the Appearance page, in the UI Options area, from the Theme list, select High Contrast, and click OK to apply changes.

Set a high contrast color scheme

You can set a high contrast color scheme for your editor. PhpStorm uses color schemes to help you define the preferred colors and fonts in the editor.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | Color Scheme.

  2. On the Color Scheme page, from the Scheme list, select High Contrast.

  3. Click OK to apply your changes.

You can check Editor basics, Mastering PhpStorm keyboard shortcuts, and Overview of the user interface to familiarize yourself with other useful shortcuts.

Last modified: 9 December 2019