This document provides guidelines for Web authoring tool developers. Its
purpose is two-fold: to assist developers in designing authoring tools that
generate accessible Web content and to assist developers in creating an
accessible authoring interface.
Accessible Web content is achieved by encouraging authoring tool users
("authors") to create accessible Web content through mechanisms such as
prompts, alerts, checking and repair functions, help files and automated
tools. It is equally important that all people can be the authors of Web
content, rather than merely recipients. It is therefore of critical importance
that the tools used to create this content are themselves accessible. Adoption
of these guidelines will result in the proliferation of Web pages that can be
read by a broader range of readers and in authoring tools that can be used by
a broader range of authors.
This document is part of a series of accessibility documents published by
the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.
This is a Working Draft of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines. It
is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or rendered obsolete by other
documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use W3C Working Drafts as
reference material or to cite them as other than "work in progress". This is
work in progress and does not imply endorsement by either W3C or members of
the WAI Authoring Tool (AU) Working Group.
This draft follows the Working Group's face to face meeting in Toronto, 15
and 16 May 1999. The first guideline is expected to be substantially changed
in the next draft, and should be regarded as unstable.
The Techniques (including the appendix Sample Implementations) listed in
this document are intended to be informative only, and although a final form
of the document will make them available, they will not be present in the
final "normative" version.
The goals of the WAI AU Working
Group are discussed in the WAI AU charter.
Please send comments about this document to the public mailing list: email@example.com, archived at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-au
A list of the current AU Working
Group members is available.
The guidelines in this document are meant to help authoring tool developers
and vendors design products that encourage authors to adopt accessible
authoring practices. For the purposes of this document the term "authoring
tool" will refer to authoring tools, generation tools, and conversion tools. These guidelines emphasize
the role of the user interface in informing, supporting, correcting, and
motivating authors during the editing process. For a more detailed discussion
of accessible Web authoring practices, see the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (
These guidelines are intended to be used by developers of all tools used to
produce content for the Web. These include:
Editing tools specifically designed to produce Web content (e.g., WYSIWYG HTML editors, SMIL
Tools that offer the option of saving material in a Web format (e.g., word
processors or desktop publishing packages);
Tools that translate documents into Web formats (e.g., filters to translate
desktop publishing formats to HTML);
Tools that produce multimedia, especially where it is intended for use on the
Web (e.g., video production and editing suites);
Tools for site management or site publication, including on-the-fly conversion
and Web site publishing tools;
Tools for management of layout (e.g., CSS formatting tools).
The guidelines documents have been organized to address readers seeking
abstract principles of accessible authoring tool design and readers seeking
concrete solutions. The guidelines documents define three terms for
different levels of abstraction:
A guideline is a general principle of accessible authoring tool design. A
guideline addresses the question "What accessibility issues should I be aware
A checkpoint is a specific way of satisfying one or more guidelines. While
checkpoints describe verifiable actions that may be carried out by the
authoring tool developer, implementation details are described elsewhere. A
checkpoint answers the question "What must/should/may I do to make an
authoring tool (and the content it produces) accessible?"
A technique is an implementation of one or more checkpoints in a given
language (e.g., HTML, XML, CSS, ...). A technique answers the question "How
do I implement that in an authoring tool?"
[Editors' note: These definitions are to be further refined]
There are two goals:
The authoring tool is accessible
Authors will create accessible content
- [Priority 1]
Essential to meeting those goals
- [Priority 2]
Important to meeting those goals
- [Priority 3]
Beneficial to meeting those goals
This section defines three levels of conformance to this document:
Conformance Level "A": all Priority 1 checkpoints are satisfied;
Conformance Level "Double-A": all Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints are satisfied;
Conformance Level "Triple-A": all Priority 1, 2, and 3 checkpoints are
Note. Conformance levels are spelled out in text so they may be understood
when rendered to speech.
Claims of conformance to this document must use one of the following two
Form 1: Specify:
The guidelines' title: "Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (working
The guidelines' URI: http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/WAI-AUTOOLS-19990521
The conformance level satisfied: "A", "Double-A", or "Triple-A".
The scope covered by the claim (e.g., tool name and version number, upgrades
or plugins required).
Example of Form 1: "MyAuthoringTool version 2.3 conforms to W3C's
"Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (working draft)", available at http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/WAI-AUTOOLS-19990521,
Form 2: Include, on each statement of conformance, one of three icons
provided by W3C and link the icon to the appropriate W3C explanation of the
[Editors' note: In the event this document becomes a Recommendation, by
that date WAI will provide a set of three icons, for "A", "Double-A", or
"Triple-A" conformance levels of "Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
(working draft)", together with a stable URI to the W3C Web site for linking
the icons to the W3C explanation of conformance claims.]
[Editors' Note: This text is a collation of two introductions, and needs
The authoring tools used to generate Web content play a critical role in
determining the form and accessibility of Web markup. It is imperative that
authoring tools generate content that is accessible, and that they handle the
accessible authoring practices applicable to the language/format being edited.
This section contains guidelines and checkpoints to ensure that the authoring
tool generates accessible content.
Accessible markup differs between languages and versions, but some general
principles of accessible markup are:
Separate structure and content from presentation;
Ensure that accessible equivalents are available for all objects that may not
otherwise be accessible (e.g., text, audio descriptions for video);
Provide consistent structure and navigation.
Authoring tools are used to automate the mechanical tasks that are part of
producing Web pages. The power of this automation can enhance the
accessibility of the Web if it is used to ensure that the code produced
promotes accessibility, and frees the author to concentrate on the higher
level problems of overall design, content, description, etc. Authoring tools
can provide this support for authors in several ways:
Producing and handling accessible content;
Encouraging the author to adopt accessible authoring practices;
Prompting the author for necessary information;
Checking, validating and where necessary repairing markup;
Providing documentation regarding accessible authoring practices;
Integrating accessibility into the general look and feel of the tool, rather
than separating it as an "optional extra".
Depending upon the design of the authoring tool, the process of creating
accessible Web content can be either frustrating and onerous or easy and
intuitive. It is up to the authoring tool to make accessible authoring
practices an integral and efficient part of creating Web content.
Web authors have a broad range of skills and needs. The first guideline in
this section addresses the accessibility of the authoring tools to Web
Principles to consider in making the authoring tool accessible to authors
with disabilities relate to three classes of functionality:
The authoring tool is a software program with standard user interface elements
and as such should follow relevant user interface accessibility guidelines.
The authoring tool frequently encompasses the functionality of a user agent or
browser and as such should follow the User Agent
Accessibility Guidelines. [WAI-USERAGENT]
The authoring tool has unique functionality as a Web content editor.
Software can be made accessible by building in a range of options for
displaying information and controlling the application, and by making the tool
compatible with third party assistive technology (e.g., text to speech devices
or alternative keyboards). Although implementation requirements and techniques
vary from platform to platform, the following general principles should be
Use system standards.
Support device independence.
Enable user configurability.
Provide appropriate programmatic interfaces.
[Editors' Note: this guideline was three guidelines entitled Follow
principles of accessible design, ensure independence of authoring and
publishing environments, provide accessible navigation]
The authoring tool is a software program with standard user interface
elements and as such should follow relevant user interface accessibility
The author may need a different presentation to edit the Web content than
the one they wish ultimately to be displayed. This implies display preferences
that do not manifest themselves in the ultimate markup or style
Authoring Web content requires editing a potentially large and complex
document. In order to edit a document the author must be able to locate and
select specific blocks of text, efficiently traverse the document and quickly
find and mark insertion points. Authors who use screen readers, refreshable
braille displays, or screen magnifiers can make limited use (if at all) of
visual artifacts that communicate the structure of the document and act as
sign posts when traversing the document. There are strategies that make it
easier to navigate and manipulate a marked up document . A compressed view of
the document allows the author to both get a good sense of the overall
structure and to navigate that structure more easily.
- 2.1.1: [Priority 1]
Use operating system and accessibility standards and conventions for the
platform(s) the tool runs on.
- 2.1.2: [Priority 1]
Ensure that user agent functionality offered by the tool (e.g., in a preview
mode) conforms to the W3C's User Agent
Accessibility Guidelines. [WAI-USERAGENT]
- 2.1.3: [Priority 1]
Ensure the rendering used while authoring is independent of styles used for
the published document (e.g., the font size, letter and line spacing, and text
and background color, etc.).
- 2.1.4: [Priority 1]
Allow the author to display a textual equivalent of content while editing.
- 2.1.5: [Priority 1]
For each element of a document, the properties of that element must be
accessible to the author.
- 2.1.6: [Priority 1]
Enable navigation and editing via the structure of the document.
- 2.1.7: [Priority 2]
Enable editing of the structure of the document.
The first step towards producing accessible content is conformance with
standards, which promotes interoperability.
- 2.2.1: [Priority 2]
Use applicable W3C Recommendations.
- 2.2.2: [Priority 1]
Extensions to W3C Recommendations must not make content inaccessible.
Methods for ensuring accessible markup vary with different markup
languages. If markup is automatically generated, many authors will be unaware
of the accessibility status of the final product unless they expend extra
effort to make appropriate corrections by hand. Since many authors are
unfamiliar with accessibility, these problems are likely to remain.
- 2.3.1: [Priority 1]
Implement all accessible authoring practices that have been defined for the
markup language(s) supported by the tool.
- 2.3.2: [Priority 1]
Produce content that is level-A conformant to the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- 2.3.3: [Priority 2]
Produce content that is double-A conformant to the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- 2.3.4: [Priority 3]
Produce content that is triple-A conformant to the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- 2.3.5: [Priority 1]
Ensure that templates to be inserted in the document are level-A conformant to
W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- 2.3.6: [Priority 2]
Ensure that templates to be inserted in the document are double-A conformant
to W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- 2.3.7: [Priority 3]
Ensure that templates to be inserted in the document are triple-A conformant
to W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Textual equivalents, including "alt-text", long descriptions, video
captions, and transcripts are absolutely necessary for the accessibility of
all images, applets, video, and audio files. However, the task of producing
these equivalents is probably the most time-consuming accessibility
recommendation made to the author.
The authoring tool can provide various mechanisms to assist the author in
generating textual equivalents while ensuring that the author can determine
whether the textual equivalent accurately reflects the information conveyed by
the multimedia object.
Including professionally written descriptions for all multimedia files
(e.g., clip-art) packaged with the tool will:
Save users time and effort;
Cause a significant number of professionally written descriptions to circulate
on the Web;
Provide users with convenient models to emulate when they write their own
Show authors the importance of description writing.
This will lead to an increase in the average quality of descriptions
- 2.4.1: [Priority 1]
Prompt the author to provide alternative content (e.g., captions, descriptive
video) which is [Web-Content-Priority-1]
- 2.4.2: [Priority 2]
Prompt the author to provide alternative content (e.g., captions, descriptive
video) which is [Web-Content-Priority-2]
- 2.4.3: [Priority 3]
Prompt the author to provide alternative content (e.g., expansions for
acronyms, explanatory graphics or audio) which is [Web-Content-Priority-3]
- 2.4.4: [Priority 1]
Prompt the author for all missing structural information which is
[Web-Content-Priority-1] (e.g., header information for tables, or changes in
language within a document).
- 2.4.5: [Priority 2]
Prompt the author for all missing structural information which is [Web-Content-Priority-2] (e.g., in HTML
LABEL, FIELDSET, OPTGROUP and LEGEND for form controls).
- 2.4.6: [Priority 3]
Prompt the author for all missing structural information which is [Web-Content-Priority-3] (e.g., the
language of a document).
- 2.4.7: [Priority 2]
Provide pre-written alternative content for all multimedia files packaged with
the authoring tool.
- 2.4.8: [Priority 3]
Provide a mechanism to manage alternative content for multimedia objects,
which retains and offers for editing pre-written or previously linked
- 2.4.9: [Priority 1]
Do not insert automatically generated (e.g., the filename) or place-holder
(e.g., "image") equivalent text, except in cases where human-authored text has
been written for an object whose function is known with certainty.
When a new feature is added to an existing software tool without proper
integration, the result is often an obvious discontinuity. Differing color
schemes, fonts, interaction styles and even application stability can be
factors affecting user acceptance of the new feature.
- 2.5.1: [Priority 2]
Ensure that the highest-priority accessible authoring practices are the most
visible and easily initiated by the author. Highlight the most accessible
solutions when presenting choices for the author.
- 2.5.2: [Priority 1]
Make generation of accessible content a naturally integrated part of the
Many applications feature the ability to convert documents from other
formats (e.g., Rich Text Format) into a markup format, such as HTML. Markup
changes may also be made to facilitate efficient editing and manipulation.
These processes are usually hidden from the user's view and may create
inaccessible content or cause inaccessible content to be produced.
- 2.6.1: [Priority 1]
The tool must recognize accessibility markup for any language or format that
it imports or converts.
- 2.6.2: [Priority 1]
Never remove markup supported by the tool that is known to promote
- 2.6.3: [Priority 2]
When removing unrecognized markup, alert the author (according to a
Many authoring tools allow authors to create documents with little or no
knowledge about the underlying markup. To ensure accessibility, authoring
tools must be designed so that they may automatically identify inaccessible
content, and enable its correction even when the markup itself is hidden from
In supporting the creation of accessible Web content, authoring tools must
take into account the differing authoring styles of their users. Some users
may prefer to be alerted to problems when they occur, whereas others may
prefer to perform a check after the document is completed. This is analogous
to programming environments that allow users to decide whether to check for
correct code during editing or at compile time.
Note that validity is an accessibility requirement, particularly for
- 2.7.1: [Priority 1]
Check for and alert the author to [Web-Content-Priority-1] accessibility
- 2.7.2: [Priority 2]
Check for and alert the author to [Web-Content-Priority-2] accessibility
- 2.7.3: [Priority 3]
Check for and alert the author to [Web-Content-Priority-3] accessibility
- 2.7.4: [Priority 2]
Allow users to control both the nature and timing of accessibility alerts.
- 2.7.5: [Priority 1]
Assist authors in correcting [Web-Content-Priority-1] accessibility
- 2.7.6: [Priority 2]
Assist authors in correcting [Web-Content-Priority-2] accessibility
- 2.7.7: [Priority 3]
Assist authors in correcting [Web-Content-Priority-3] accessibility
- 2.7.8: [Priority 3]
Provide the author with a summary of the accessibility status on a
- 2.7.9: [Priority 3]
Allow the author to perform tag transformations. For example, to transform
visually formatted elements to structure elements, or tables to lists.
The issues surrounding Web accessibility are often unknown to Web authors.
Help and documentation should explain accessibility problems and solutions,
- 2.8.1: [Priority 1]
Integrate accessible authoring practices in all applicable help topics.
- 2.8.2: [Priority 1]
Explain the use of accessible authoring practices supported by the authoring
- 2.8.3: [Priority 1]
Examples must not use inaccessible markup.
- 2.8.4: [Priority 3]
Emphasize the universal benefit of accessible design.
The Sample Implementations are not Guidelines, they are
Techniques. The section has been included to illustrate how the design
principles embodied in the guidelines sections can be applied to concrete
issues. The specific ideas discussed in this section are meant to be used only
The A-prompt tool [APROMPT] is an example tool that
allows for checking of many accessibility features in HTML pages, and
incorporates an "alt text registry" to manage alternative content for known
resources. The tool is built in such a way that the functions can be
incorporated into an authoring tool.
[Editors' note: This section has not kept pace with the development of the
guidelines. It will be updated in future drafts.]
"Alt-text" is generally considered the most important aid to HTML
accessibility. For this reason, the issue of "alt-text" has been chosen as the
subject for an extended technique based on a hypothetical implementation.
- 2.1 Ensure that the
Authoring Tool is Accessible to Authors with Disabilities
Implementation: The author can edit the document using the
alternative content of the image in its place, and can access all the
properties of the image (height, width, etc)
- 2.2 Generate standard
Implementation: In any content produced, the IMG element is always
properly formed as defined in the HTML4 specification. This means that the
element contains both a "src" attribute and an "alt" attribute.
- 2.3 Support all accessible
authoring practices of W3C Recommendations
Implementation: Due to the [Web-Content-Priority 1] recommendation
status of "alt-text" in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, special
attention will be devoted to prompting and guiding the user toward full "alt"
- 2.4 Ensure that no
accessibility content is missing
Implementation: The authoring tool is shipped with many ready-to-use
clip art and other images. For each of these images a short "alt-text" string
and a longer description have been pre-written and stored in an "alt-text"
- 2.5 Integrate
accessibility solutions into the overall "look and feel"
Implementation: At no point do "alt-text" requests appear on
their own or in a non-standard manner. Instead "alt-text" notices and
emphasis appear as integrated and necessary as the "src" attribute.
- 2.6 Preserve existing
accessible structure or content
Implementation: The authoring tool has the capability of opening and
converting word processor documents into HTML. If an image is encountered
during this process, the user will be prompted for "alt-text". The authoring
tool sometimes makes changes to the HTML it works with to allow more efficient
manipulation. These changes never result in the removal or
modification of "alt-text" entries.
- 2.7 Provide methods of
checking and correcting inaccessible content
Implementation: If the user opens content or pastes in markup
containing an IMG element that lacks "alt-text", the author is prompted to add
them (unless they have configured the tool to postpone this task).
- 2.8 Promote accessibility in
help and documentation
Implementation: Whenever missing "alt-text" is flagged (anywhere in
the tool suite) the same quick explanation, extended help, and examples are
offered. Explanation of how to include images always include how to add
[Editors' note: This section will be reviewed by the group, and is expected
to be updated in future drafts]
Interface mechanisms such as dialogs, menus, toolbars, and palettes can be
structured so that markup or elements that are accessible are given as the
first and easiest choice.
Prompts can be used to encourage authors to provide information needed to
make the content accessible (such as alternative textual representations).
Prompts are simple requests for information before a markup structure has been
finalized. For example, an "alt-text" entry field prominently displayed in an
image insertion dialog would constitute a prompt. Prompts are relatively
unintrusive and address a problem before it has been committed. However, once
the user has ignored the prompt, its message is unavailable.
Alerts warn the author that there are problems that need to be addressed.
The art of attracting users' attention is a tricky issue. The way in which
users are alerted, prompted, or warned will influence their view of the tool
as well as their opinion of accessible authoring.
- User Configurable Schedule
A user configurable schedule allows the user to determine the type of prompts
and alerts which are used, including when they are presented. For example, a
user may wish to include multiple images without being prompted for
alternative content, and then provide the alternative content in a batch
process, or may wish to be reminded each time they add an image. If the
prompting is done on a user configurable schedule they will be able to make
that decision themselves. This technique allows a tool to suit the needs a
wide range of authors.
- Interruptive Alerts
Interruptive alerts are informative messages that interrupt the edit process
for the user. For example, interruptive alerts are often presented when a
user's action could cause a loss of data. Interruptive alerts allow problems
to be brought to the user's attention immediately. However, users may resent
the constant delays and forced actions. Many people prefer to finish
expressing an idea before returning to edit its format.
- Unintrusive Alerts
Unintrusive alerts are alerts such as icons, underlines, and gentle sounds
that can be presented to the user without necessitating immediate action. for
example, in some word processors misspelled text is highlighted without
forcing the user to make immediate corrections. These alerts allow users to
continue editing with the knowledge that problems will be easy to identify at
a later time. However, users may become annoyed at the extra formatting or may
choose to ignore the alerts altogether.
Prompts are simple requests for information before a markup structure has been
- Alert Tools
Alert tools allow a batch detection process to address all problems at a given
- Authoring Tool
An Authoring Tool is any application that is specifically designed
to aid users in editing markup and presentation language documents. The
editing processes covered by this definition may range from direct hand coding
(with automated syntax support or other markup specific features) to WYSIWYG
editors that do not present the actual underlying markup to the author for
editing. This definition does not include text editors and word
processors that also allow HTML to be hand produced.
- Conversion Tool
A Conversion Tool is any application or application feature that
allows content in some other format (proprietary or not) to be converted
automatically into a particular markup language. This includes software whose
primary function is to convert documents to a particular markup language as
well as "save as HTML" (or other markup language) features in non-markup
- Generation Tool
A Generation Tool is a program or script that produces automatic
markup "on the fly" by following a template or set of rules. The generation
may be performed on either the server or client side.
- Site Management Tool
A tool that provides an overview of an entire Web site indicating hierarchical
structure. It will facilitate management through functions that may include
automatic index creation, automatic link updating, and broken link checking.
- Publishing Tool
A tool that allows content to be uploaded in an integrated fashion. Sometimes
these tools makes changes such as local hyper-reference modifications.
Although these tools sometimes stand alone, they may also be integrated into
site management tools.
- Image Editor
A graphics program that provides a variety of options for altering images of
- Video Editor
A tool that facilitates the process of manipulating video images. Video
editing includes cutting segments (trimming), re-sequencing clips, and adding
transitions and other special effects.
- Multi-media Authoring Tool
Software that facilitates integration of diverse media elements into an
comprehensive presentation format. May incorporate video, audio, images,
animations, simulations, and other interactive components.
- Automated Markup Insertion Function
Automated markup insertion functions are the features of an authoring tool
that allow the user to produce markup without directly typing it. This
includes a wide range of tools from simple markup insertion aids (such as a
bold button on a toolbar) to markup managers (such as table makers that
include powerful tools such as "split cells" that can make multiple changes)
to high level site building wizards that produce almost complete documents on
the basis of a series of user preferences.
A document is a series of elements that are defined by a language
(e.g., HTML 4.0 or an XML application).
An element is any identifiable object within a document, for example a
character, word, image, paragraph or spreadsheet cell. In HTML and XML an
element refers to a pair of tags and their content, or an "empty" tag - one
which has no closing tag or content.
A property is a piece of information about an element, for example structural
information (e.g., it is item number 7 in a list, or plain text) or
presentation information (e.g., that it is marked as bold, its font size is
14). In XML and HTML properties of an element include the name of the element
(e.g., IMG or DL), the values of its attributes, and information associated by
means of a stylesheet. In a database, properties of a particular element may
include values of the entry, and acceptable data types for that element.
in XML and HTML, an element may have any number of attributes. In the
following example, the attributes of the beverage element are flavour, which
has the value "lots", and colour, which has the value "red": <beverage
flavour="lots" colour="red">my favorite</beverage> Some attributes are
integral to document accessibility (e.g., the "alt", "title", and "longdesc"
attributes in HTML
- Rendered Content
The rendered content is that which an element actually causes to be
rendered by the user agent. This may differ from the element's structural
content. For example, some elements cause external data to be rendered (e.g.,
the IMG element in HTML), and in some cases, browsers may render the value of
an attribute (e.g., "alt", "title") in place of the element's content.
- Accessibility Awareness
The term accessibility awareness is used to describe an application that has
been designed to maximize the ease of use of the interface and its products
for people with differing needs, abilities and technologies. In the case of
authoring tools, this means that (1) care has been taken to ensure that the
content produced by user-authors is accessible and (2) that the user interface
has been designed to be usable with a variety of display and control
- Inaccessible Markup, Inaccessible
Element, Inaccessible Attribute, Inaccessible Authoring Practice and Access
All these terms are used in the context of inaccessibility as defined by the
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- Accessibility Solution,
Accessible Authoring Practice
These terms refer to markup checkpoints than can be used to eliminate or
reduce accessibility problems as they are defined above.
- Alternative Textual Representations
Certain types of content may not be accessible to all users (e.g., images), so
authoring tools must ensure that alternative
textual representations ("Alt-text") of information is available to
the user. Alternative text can come from element content (e.g., the OBJECT
element) or attributes (e.g., "alt" or "title").
- Description Link (D-link)
A description link, or D-Link, is an author-supplied link to
additional information about a piece of content that might otherwise be
difficult to access (image, applet, video, etc.).
A transcript is a line by line record of all dialog and action within a video
or audio clip.
- Video Captions
A video caption is a textual message that is stored in the text track of a
video file. The video caption describes the action and dialog for the scene in
which it is displayed.
- Inserting an element
Inserting an element involves placing that element's markup within
the markup of the file. This applies to all insertions, including, but not
limited to, direct coding in a text editing mode, choosing an automated
insertion from a pull-down menu or tool bar button, "drag-and-drop" style
insertions, or "paste" operations.
- Editing an element
Editing an element involves making changes to one or more of an
element's attributes or properties. This applies to all editing, including,
but not limited to, direct coding in a text editing mode, making changes to a
property dialog or direct User Interface manipulation.
An authoring tool may offer several views of the same document. For
instance, one view may show raw markup, a second may show a structured tree
view, a third may show markup with rendered objects while a final view shows
an example of how the document may appear if it were to be rendered by a
A selection is a set of elements identified for a particular
operation. The user selection identifies a set of elements for certain types
of user interaction (e.g., cut, copy, and paste operations). The user
selection may be established by the user (e.g., by a pointing device or the
keyboard) or via an accessibility Application Programmatic Interface (API). A
view may have several selections, but only one user selection.
- Current User Selection
When several views co-exist, each may have a user selection, but only one is
active, called the current user selection. The selections may be
rendered specially (e.g., visually highlighted).
The focus designates the active element (e.g., link, form control,
element with associated scripts, etc.) in a view that will react when the user
next interacts with the document.
Many thanks to the following people who have contributed through review and
comment: Jim Allan, Kynn Bartlett, Harvey Bingham, Judy Brewer, Carl Brown,
Wendy Chisholm, Rob Cumming, Daniel Dardailler, Mark Day, BK Delong, Jamie
Fox, Sylvain Galineau, Al Gilman, Eric Hansen, Phill Jenkins, Len Kasday,
William Loughborough, Charles Oppermann, Dave Pawson, Bruce Roberts, Gregory
Rosmaita, Jim Thatcher, Irène Vatton, Gregg Vanderheiden, Jason White,
and Lauren Wood.
If you have contributed to the AU guidelines and your name does not appear
please contact the editors to add your name to the list.
- [Access Aware Authoring Tools]
"The Three-tions of Accessibility-Aware HTML Authoring Tools", J. Richards.
A-prompt tool is a freely available example tool developed by the Adaptive
Technology Resource Center at the University of Toronto, and the TRACE center
at the University of Wisconsin. The source code for the tool is also
"CSS, level 1 Recommendation", B. Bos, H. Wium Lie, eds. The CSS1
Recommendation is available at:
"CSS, level 2 Recommendation", B. Bos, H. Wium Lie, C. Lilley, and I. Jacobs,
eds. The CSS2 Recommendation is available at:
"WAI Resources: CSS2 Accessibility Improvements", I. Jacobs and J. Brewer,
eds. This document, which describes accessibility features in CSS2, is
"HTML 4.0 Recommendation", D. Raggett, A. Le Hors, and I. Jacobs, eds. The
HTML 4.0 Recommendation is available at:
"WAI Resources: HTML 4.0 Accessibility Improvements", I. Jacobs, J. Brewer,
and D. Dardailler, eds. This document, which describes accessibility features
in HTML 4.0, is available at:
"A Comparison of Schemas for Dublin Core-based Video Metadata Representation",
J Hunter. Available at: http://www.dstc.edu.au/RDU/staff/jane-hunter/mpeg7/contribution.htm
"W3C Technical Reports and Publications" The latest versions of W3C
Recomendations are available at:
"Authoring Tool Accessibility Techinques (Working Draft)", J. Treviranus, J.
Richards, I. Jacobs, and C. McCathieNevile eds. The latest working draft of
these techniques is available at:
"User Agent Accessibility Guidelines", J. Gunderson and I. Jacobs, eds. These
guidelines for designing accessible user agents are available at:
"Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0", W. Chisholm, G. Vanderheiden, and
I. Jacobs, eds. These guidelines for designing accessible documents are
defined by [WAI-WEBCONTENT].
"Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines", W. Chisholm, G.
Vanderheiden, and I. Jacobs, eds. These techniques for designing accessible
documents are available at: