Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G74: Providing a long description in text near the non-text content, with a reference to the location of the long description in the short description

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.


Applies to all technologies

This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to provide a long description without requiring the user to jump off to another location for the description. It also allows all users to see the description which may be useful to anyone who might miss some features in the non-text content.

With this technique, the long description is provided as part of the standard presentation (i.e., everyone receives it). The description is located near the non-text content but does not have to be the very next item. For example, there may be a caption under a chart with the long description provided in the following paragraph.

The location of this long description is then provided within the short text alternative so the user knows where to look for it if they cannot view the non-text content.


Example 1: Bar chart

There is a bar chart on a Web page showing the sales for the top three salespeople.

The short text alternative says: "October sales chart for top three salespeople. Details in text following the chart:"

The following is in the paragraph immediately below the chart. "Sales for October show Mary leading with 400 units. Mike follows closely with 389. Chris rounds out our top 3 with sales of 350."


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  1. check that the short text alternative includes the location of the long description

  2. Check that the long description is near the non-text content both visually and in the linear reading order

  3. check that the long description conveys the same information as the non-text content

Expected Results

All 3 of the above are true

If this is a sufficient technique for a success criterion, failing this test procedure does not necessarily mean that the success criterion has not been satisfied in some other way, only that this technique has not been successfully implemented and can not be used to claim conformance.