Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G55: Linking to definitions

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.


All technologies that include links.

This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to make the definition of a word, phrase, or abbreviation available by providing the definition, either within the same Web page or in a different Web page, and establishing a link between the item and its definition.

Links are a powerful option for providing access to the definition of a word, phrase, or abbreviation. A user can use the link to find the definition quickly and easily, and then return to his place in the content via the user agent's Back button.


Example 1

Technical terms and abbreviations in an article about sports injuries are linked to definitions in a medical dictionary.

Example 2

A textbook contains a glossary of new vocabulary words introduced in each chapter. The first occurrence of each of these words is linked to its definition in the glossary.

Example 3

A general glossary of abbreviations is provided. All occurrences of abbreviations are linked directly to the appropriate definition within that glossary.

Example 4

The word jargon is linked to its definition in the WCAG2 Glossary.

Example 5

The word "modulo" is jargon used in Web content about mathematics. A definition for modulo is included within the Web page. Each occurrence of the word modulo is linked to its definition.

Example 6

A Japanese idiom is linked to its definition. This example uses a link within the page to navigate to the definition of an idiomatic expression.

Example Code:

              <p>...<a href="#definition">さじを投げる</a>...</p>
                <dt id="definition" name="definition">さじを投げる</dt>


No resources available for this technique.



For each word, phrase, or abbreviation to be defined:

  1. Check that at least the first instance of the item is a link.

  2. Check that each link navigates to the definition of the item.

Expected Results

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.