Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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H70: Using frame elements to group blocks of repeated material


HTML 4 and XHTML 1.0 documents that use frames

This technique relates to:

User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes


The objective of this technique is to demonstrate how framesets can be used to group blocks of repeated material. Since most user agents and assistive technology provide a way to navigate from frame to frame, using frames to organize elements can provide a mechanism for easily bypassing blocks of repeated content. If the site uses framesets, organize the blocks of content into separate frames. Make certain that the repeated blocks of content appear in the same frame within the frameset of each Web page. In addition, each frame element must have a title attribute to describe the content of the frame. When frames are properly titled, users can use frame navigation to easily navigate between blocks of content.

This technique is appropriate when framesets are already used to organize the content of the page; other techniques are preferred for pages that are not already using framesets, because many people using assistive technology have trouble with frames . An advisory technique about using noframes is available in Success Criterion 4.2.1.


Example 1

The following example shows the use of two frames to organize content. The source of the first frame is the Web page, navigation.html, which contains the HTML for the navigation. This frame has a title attribute which identifies it as a navigation bar. The second frame contains the main content of the site as indicated by the source parameter of main.html and the title attribute, "Main News Content" which identifies its function.

    <frameset cols="20%, *">
      <frame src="navigation.html" name="navbar" title="Navigation Bar" />
      <frame src="main.html" name="maincontent" title="Main News Content" />
        <p>View <a href="noframe.html">no frame version</a>.</p>


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If the Web page uses frames to organize content:

  1. Check if repeated blocks of content are organized into separate frames.

  2. Check that the frames with repeated content appear in the same location within each frameset.

Expected Results