N.B: If you click on one of the images, it will pop up in a larger zoomed in display for you.

The Fix link targets wizard provides you with "link target" errors for the course and updates the links target attribute by removing "_blank" to prevent the link going to a new window in the browser to help fix them quickly. Links which must open into a new browser window, should warn users at least, by including "(New window)" in the link text itself. The existing link target errors are listed with a “Submit Bulk Fixing” button, which will then update all the link target errors on that current page.

All fixes applied through this wizard can be reverted with the Bulk fix log. All errors hidden through this wizard are located in Exception Management.

Viewing the Fix link targets wizard

The Fix link targets wizard can be accessed via:

  • Course actions menu > Brickfield Accessibility+ toolkit > Go to wizards > Fix link targets
  • Accessibility+ Review block > View Accessibility+ report (Chart icon) > Go to wizards > Fix link targets
  • The "Fix" link that's available for the "Links opening into a new window should warn users in advance" check in the Check list report.
The Fix link targets wizard of the Accessibility+ Toolkit

The Fix link targets wizard displays the following details for each error:

  • Name: the activity type and name.
  • Course: the courses shortname in which the error resides.
  • Existing HTML code: the full HTML code.
  • Update to: This link will no longer open into a new window or tab.
  • Hide: checkbox to hide the error when processed


If a link opens into a new browser window without warning, the user may not realise until it's too late - especially if they are using a screenreader. This can cause confusion and irritation, not least because they are now unable to use the "Back" button to navigate backwards if needed.

Why should you not force links to open in a new window?

To provide some background, there are very few valid reasons for forcing a user into a new window and there are many reasons why you should not do so.

One quote from the Nielsen Norman Group, or NN Group, an industry recognised World Leader in Research-Based User Experience is "Opening up new browser windows is like a vacuum cleaner sales person who starts a visit by emptying an ashtray on the customer's carpet. "

Here are some reasons why you should not force links to open in new windows

  • For everyone, bouncing people into another window is a surprise and not a good one (like a box of chocolates). This will further create problems for users with low sight or cognitive disabilities who may not see that a new tab has opened.
  • Opening a new window or tab resets the back button in that window. Users with screen readers cannot go back to the page they came from. This breaks the navigation experience for that user.
  • Whenever someone clicks a link, they should be able to go back. The back button is a heavily used feature in browsers.
  • If the person is using a terminal - they force one window only generally, so putting a link into a new window literally means they cannot navigate between windows/tabs and will either lose the existing site or not access the new link.
  • Navigating multiple windows/tabs is a horrible experience and can cause a lot of confusion on mobile devices - especially phones - this is not an experience you want to force on your users

How the Accessibility+ toolkit handles link targets

With our premium toolkit, we also have alternate helpers that offer different ways to handle opening links in new windows. One example is a local plugin which creates a popup, like a Confirm popup, but for the user to decide from the following options for a link which has been set to open in a new window:

  • Open in a new window.
  • Open in the same window.
  • Cancel, returning to the original page.

In short - let the user decide if they want to open a link in a new window or not - and perhaps add “(external site)” as text so they can tell if it’s external or not.

Return to the category: Fix