Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G112: Using inline definitions


Any technology containing text.

This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to provide a definition in context for any word used in an unusual or restricted way. The definition is provided in the text, either just before or just after the word is used. The definition may be included in the same sentence as the word that is being defined, or in a separate sentence.


Example 1: Ether

He believed that sound traveled through the ether, which was thought to be a substance that filled interplanetary space.

Example 2: Driver

It may be necessary to update the driver for your printer (the driver is software that contains specific instructions for your printer).

Example 3: W3C key words

Definition: The key words must, must not, required, shall, shall not, should, should not, recommended, may, and optional in this specification are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

Example 4: A Japanese idiomatic expression defined in context

This example uses parentheses to provide the definition of an idiomatic expression in Japanese. The phrase in Japanese says that "he throws a spoon." It means that there was nothing he can do and finally he gives up.



No resources available for this technique.



For each word or phrase used in an unusual or restricted way:

  1. Check that the word is defined in text either before or after the first occurrence of the word.

Expected Results

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.

Techniques are Informative

Techniques are informative—that means they are not required. The basis for determining conformance to WCAG 2.0 is the success criteria from the WCAG 2.0 standard—not the techniques. For important information about techniques, please see the Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria section of Understanding WCAG 2.0.