Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G53: Identifying the purpose of a link using link text combined with the text of the enclosing sentence


All technologies that contain links.

This technique relates to:

User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes

JAWS 5.0 and later includes the following keystrokes:

Window-Eyes 5.5 has hotkeys to read the current sentence and current paragraph.

To surf the internet with WindowEyes you must be in browse mode. Current sentence and current paragraph hot keys do not work in browse mode in version 6.1.

The Window-Eyes default settings for reading surrounding link context are as follows:

Desktop settings:



The objective of this technique is to identify the purpose of a link from the link and its sentence context. The sentence enclosing the link provides context for an otherwise unclear link. The description lets a user distinguish this link from links in the Web page that lead to other destinations and helps the user determine whether to follow the link. Note that simply providing the URI of the destination is generally not sufficiently descriptive.

Note: These descriptions will be most useful to the user if the additional information needed to understand the link precedes the link. If the additional information follows the link, there can be confusion and difficulty for screen reader users who are reading through the page in order (top to bottom).


Example 1:

A Web page contains the sentence "To advertise on this page, click here."

Although the link phrase 'click here' is not sufficient to understand the link, the information needed precedes the link in the same sentence.

Example 2:

In the news summary containing the sentence "The Smallville Times reports that the School Board chose a 2007 school calendar that starts on August 27.", the words "reports that" are a link to an article in the Smallville Times about the School Board meeting.

Note: Although this example satisfies the Success Criterion, putting information needed to understand the link after the link in this way is awkward for those who are reading through the document with a screen reader.


No resources available for this technique.



For each link in the content that uses this technique:

  1. Check that the link is part of a sentence

  2. Check that text of the link combined with the text of its enclosing sentence describes the purpose of the link

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.