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Rating Slider Example

Read This First

The code in this example is not intended for production environments. Before using it for any purpose, read this to understand why.

This is an illustrative example of one way of using ARIA that conforms with the ARIA specification.

About This Example

WARNING! Some users of touch-based assistive technologies may experience difficulty utilizing widgets that implement this slider pattern because the gestures their assistive technology provides for operating sliders may not yet generate the necessary output. To change the slider value, touch-based assistive technologies need to respond to user gestures for increasing and decreasing the value by synthesizing key events. This is a new convention that may not be fully implemented by some assistive technologies. Authors should fully test slider widgets using assistive technologies on devices where touch is a primary input mechanism before considering incorporation into production systems.

Following is an example of a rating input that demonstrates the slider design pattern. This rating widget employs a slider because the slider pattern supports step values of any size. This particular input enables half-star steps. A typical five-star rating widget that allows only five possible values could instead be implemented as a radio group.

Similar examples include:

  • Rating Radio Group Example: Radio group that provides input for a five-star rating scale.
  • Color Viewer Slider Example: Basic horizontal sliders that illustrate setting numeric values for a color picker.
  • Vertical Temperature Slider Example: Demonstrates using aria-orientation to specify vertical orientation and aria-valuetext to communicate unit of measure for a temperature input.
  • Media Seek Slider Example: Horizontal slider that demonstrates using aria-valuetext to communicate current and maximum values of time in media to make the values easy to understand for assistive technology users by converting the total number of seconds to minutes and seconds.
  • Horizontal Multi-Thumb Slider Example: Demonstrates using sliders with two thumbs to provide inputs for numeric ranges, such as for searching in a price range.



Accessibility Features

  • To ensure assistive technology users correctly perceive the maximum slider value, this example uses the aria-valuetext property to communicate both the current and maximum values. However, since repeating the maximum value every time the slider value changes is potentially distracting, the maximum value is included in aria-valuetext only when the slider is initialized and when the thumb loses keyboard focus.
  • To highlight the interactive nature of the rating stars, a focus ring appears around the group of stars when the thumb has focus.
  • To ensure the borders of the stars and focus ring have sufficient contrast with the background when high contrast settings invert colors, the color of the borders are synchronized with the color of the text content. For example, the color of the star borders is set to match the foreground color of high contrast mode text by specifying the CSS currentcolor value for the stroke property of each inline SVG polygon element. To enable the high contrast background color to be the used as the contrasting color when a star is not fully or partially filled, the fill-opacity attribute of the polygon is set to zero. If specific colors were used to specify the stroke and fill properties, the color of these elements would remain the same in high contrast mode, which could lead to insufficient contrast between them and their background or even make them invisible if their color were to match the high contrast mode background.
    Note: The SVG element needs to have the CSS forced-color-adjust property set to the value auto for the currentcolor value to be updated in high contrast modes. Some browsers do not use auto for the default value.

Keyboard Support

Key Function
Right Arrow Increases slider one half star.
Up Arrow Increases slider one half star.
Left Arrow Decreases slider one half star.
Down Arrow Decreases slider one half star.
Page Up Increases slider value multiple steps. In this slider, jumps one star.
Page Down Decreases slider value multiple steps. In this slider, jumps one star.
Home Sets slider to its minimum value, no stars.
End Sets slider to its maximum value, five stars.

Role, Property, State, and Tabindex Attributes

Role Attribute Element Usage
slider div
  • Identifies the element as a slider.
  • Set on the div that represents the movable thumb because it is the operable element that controls the slider value.
tabindex="0" div Includes the slider thumb in the page tab sequence.
aria-valuemax="5" div Specifies the maximum value of the slider.
aria-valuemin="0" div Specifies the minimum value of the slider.
aria-valuenow="NUMBER" div Indicates the current value of the slider.
aria-valuetext="STRING" div
  • A string value that provides a user-friendly name for the current value of the slider -- the number of stars and half stars.
  • When initialized, and when the slider loses focus, the string also includes the maximum value of five stars, e.g., 3 of 5 stars.
aria-labelledby="IDREF" div Refers to the element containing the name of the slider.
aria-hidden="true" svg Removes the SVG elements from the accessibility tree to prevent assistive technologies from presenting them as elements separate from the slider.

Javascript and CSS Source Code

HTML Source Code

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