Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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H35: Providing text alternatives on applet elements


HTML and XHTML Documents that load Java applets where applet is not deprecated.

This technique relates to:

User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes

IE 6 for Windows and Firefox 1.5 and Opera 9 on Windows treat alternative text for the applet element differently. IE will display the body text of the applet element and not the alt attribute. Firefox and Opera will display the alt attribute but not the body text.


Provide a text alternative for an applet by using the alt attribute to label an applet and providing the text alternative in the body of the applet element. Both mechanisms are required due to the varying support of the alt attribute and applet body text by user agents.


Example 1: An applet to play the tic-tac-toe game.

Example Code:

<applet code="tictactoe.class" width="250" height="250" alt="tic-tac-toe game">
   tic-tac-toe game


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  1. View the source code of the applet element

  2. Check that the applet element contains an alt attribute with a text alternative for the applet

  3. Check that the applet element contains a text alternative for the applet in the body of the applet element

Expected Results