Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G70: Providing a function to search an online dictionary

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

This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to provide the definition of words, phrases, jargon, or abbreviation expansions by adding a mechanism to access an on-line dictionary to the Web page. This technique uses existing resources on the Web to provide the definition rather than requiring the author to create a glossary or other mechanism within the site. By providing access from within the Web page, a user can easily locate the desired definition. This technique can only be used if the online dictionary returns the correct definition.


Example 1

A site that describes how a computer works would include a search feature on each Web page. The search would be performed against an on-line dictionary of computer terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. Since the dictionary is specialized for computer terms, the acronym expansion found should be more accurate than with a general dictionary.

Example 2

An online course in English grammar provides a paragraph of text which introduces new vocabulary words. Each of the vocabulary words is a link to an on-line dictionary to find the definition of the word. Activating a link will open up a new window to an online dictionary site with the specific vocabulary word defined.


No resources available for this technique.



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

  1. Check that a mechanism exists within the Web page to search for the word, phrase, or abbreviation via an on-line dictionary.

  2. Check that the result of the search of the dictionary for the word, phrase, or abbreviation is the correct definition.

Expected Results

Note: The definition of abbreviation used in WCAG is: "shortened form of a word, phrase, or name where the original expansion has not been rejected by the organization that it refers to and where the abbreviation has not become part of the language."

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.