Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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F70: Failure of Success Criterion 4.1.1 due to incorrect use of start and end tags or attribute markup

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.0 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.0.


Markup languages: HTML, XHTML, and other SGML or XML-based technologies.

This failure relates to:


The objective of this failure is to identify examples of markup errors in element tags that could cause assistive technology to be unable to generate a satisfactory model of the page. Different user agents may implement different heuristics to recover from errors, resulting in inconsistent presentations of the page between user agents.

Some common types of problems with start and end tags that lead to this failure condition (though this is not an exhaustive list):


Failure Example 1: Missing angle brackets in XHTML

The following code fails because the opening tag is missing an angle bracket, and the intended boundary of the tag is unclear.

Example Code:

<p This is a paragraph</p>

Failure Example 2: Missing slash on closing tag in XHTML

The following code fails because the closing tag is missing the slash, making it look like it is in fact another opening tag.

Example Code:

<p>This is a paragraph<p>

Failure Example 3: Unbalanced attribute quoting

The following code fails because the attribute value is missing the closing quote, which makes the boundary of the attribute-value pair unclear.

Example Code:

<input title="name type="text">

Failure Example 4: Lack of whitespace between attributes

The following code fails because the there is not whitespace between attributes, which makes the boundary between attribute-value pairs unclear.

Example Code:

<input title="name"type="text">

Failure Example 5: Unquoted attribute with whitespace value

The following code fails because an attribute value is not quoted and contains whitespace, which makes the boundary of the attribute-value pair unclear.

Example Code:

<input title=Enter name here type=text>

Failure Example 6: Missing end tags in XHTML

The following code fails because the closing tag of the first paragraph is missing, making it unclear whether the second paragraph is a child or sibling of the first.

Example Code:

<p>This is a paragraph
<p>This is another paragraph</p>

(none currently listed)



  1. Check the source code of pages implemented in markup languages.

  2. Check whether any opening tags, closing tags or attributes are malformed.

Expected Results