Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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F52: Failure of Success Criterion 3.2.1 due to opening a new window as soon as a new page is loaded without prior warning


Applies when scripting is used to open new windows.

This failure relates to:


Some Web sites open a new window when a page is loaded, to advertise a product or service. The objective of this technique is to ensure that pages do not disorient users by opening up one or more new windows as soon as a page is loaded. Unless instructions that describe the behavior are provided before the request to open the new page is made, opening a new window as soon as a new page is loaded is a failure condition for this success criterion.


Note: There are multiple methods by which this failure may be triggered. Two common examples that are supported differently in various versions of user agents are listed as examples below.

Failure Example 1:

The following example is commonly used in HTML 4.01 to open new windows when pages are loaded.

window.onload = showAdvertisement;
 function showAdvertisement()
 {'advert.html', '_blank', 'height=200,width=150');

Failure Example 2:

The following example commonly used in XHTML to open new windows when pages are loaded.

if (window.addEventListener) { 
    window.addEventListener("load", showAdvertisement, true);
if (window.attachEvent) {
    window.attachEvent("onload", showAdvertisement);
function showAdvertisement()
{'noscript.html', '_blank', 'height=200,width=150');


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  1. load a new page

  2. check to see whether a new window has been opened as a result of loading the new page

Expected Results