This is a draft document supplied by the WCAG Techniques Task Force. It in no way represents a WCAG Working Group consensus or agreement and is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. The accessibility test listed below should not be construed as required for conformance with the proposed WCAG2.

HTML Test Suite for WCAG 2.0
Test 53 - title is not placeholder text.

W3C Editor's Draft 2005-08-11

Chris Ridpath, ATRC, University Of Toronto
Jenae Andershonis, Microsoft Inc.


This test case was created by the ATRC at the University Of Toronto. It should not be construed as required for conformance with the proposed WCAG2.

The complete list of tests may be found at http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/tests/

Comments on this test may be made to the WCAG mailing list.

Status Of This Test

As part of the conformance test process, this test has a status of 'accepted'.

WCAG2 Guideline

Guideline: 2.4 - Provide mechanisms to help users find content, orient themselves within it, and navigate through it.
Success Criteria: 3. Delivery units have descriptive titles How to provide descriptive titles . (Informative)

Level 3

The WCAG2 has 3 priority levels for making Web content accessible. This test has a priority of 'Level 3'.


The WCAG Working Group has created techniques that describe how Web content may be made accessible. The following techniques are related to this test:

Prerequisite Tests

The following tests must be run before running this test. If any of the prerequisite tests fail then this test is invalid and should not be run.

Test Process


  1. View the text that is contained by the title element.
  2. Compare the title text to common placeholder values.

Expected Results

  1. title is not placeholder text.

Fail Instructions

  1. Change the title text to avoid placeholder text or confirm that the text is appropriate.

Pass Instructions

The following tests are related to this test and may be performed next. There is no requirement that these tests be performed:

  1. title is descriptive of the content.

Language Specific

This test contains language specific directions and is dependent upon the language of the content. It may be applied only to content written in the following languages:

Language Specific Values
Language Placeholder TITLE Text
eng title
the title
this is the title
untitled document

Test Files

These test files contain examples of the accessibility problem detectable by this test. They may also contain more accessibility problems than the one described in this test. Please ignore any extraneous accessibility problems in these files.

Valid XHTML 1.0!