Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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H64: Using the title attribute of the frame and iframe elements


HTML and XHTML documents that use frames or iframes

This technique relates to:

User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes

The use of the longdesc attribute in HTML 4 on frame and iframe elements to specify a link to a long description of a frame is not supported well by assistive technologies. The use of title as described in this technique is recommended instead.


The objective of this technique is to demonstrate the use of the title attribute of the frame or iframe element to describe the contents of each frame. This provides a label for the frame so users can determine which frame to enter and explore in detail. It does not label the individual page (frame) or inline frame (iframe) in the frameset.

Note that the title attribute labels frames, and is different from the title element which labels documents. Both should be provided, since the first facilitates navigation among frames and the second clarifies the user's current location.

The title attribute is not interchangeable with the name attribute. The title labels the frame for users; the name labels it for scripting and window targeting. The name is not presented to the user, only the title is.


Example 1

This example shows how to use the title attribute with frame to describe the frames containing the navigation bar and the document.

Example Code:

<html xmlns="">
    <title>A simple frameset document</title>
  <frameset cols="10%, 90%">
    <frame src="nav.html" title="Main menu" />
    <frame src="doc.html" title="Documents" />
        <a href="lib.html" title="Library link">Select to
        go to the electronic library</a>

Example 2

This example shows how to use the title attribute with iframe to describe the contents of an inline frame. The example also includes an alternative link to the page included by the iframe element for older browsers, which may not understand the iframeelement.

Example Code:

 <html xmlns="">
    <title>A document using iframe</title>
<iframe src="banner-ad.html" id="testiframe" 
  name="testiframe" title="Advertisement">
    <a href="banner-ad.html">Advertisement</a>


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  1. Check each frame and iframe element in the HTML or XHTML source code for the presence of a title attribute.

  2. Check that the title attribute contains text that identifies the frame.

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.