Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G14: Ensuring that information conveyed by color differences is also available in text

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.0 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.0.


All technologies that support color and text.

This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to ensure that when color differences are used to convey information, such as required form fields, the information conveyed by the color differences are also conveyed explicitly in text.


Example 1: A color-coded schedule

The schedule for sessions at a technology conference is organized into three tracks. Sessions for Track 1 are displayed over a blue background. Sessions in Track 2 are displayed over a yellow background. Sessions in Track 3 are displayed on a green background. After the name of each session is a code identifying the track in text: T1 for Track 1, T2 for Track 2, and T3 for Track 3.

Example 2: A color-coded schedule with icons

The schedule for sessions at a technology conference is organized into three tracks. Next to the title of each session is an icon consisting of a colored circle with a number in the middle showing what track it belongs to: blue circles with the number 1 represent track 1, yellow circles with the number 2 represent Track 2, and green circles with the number 3 represent Track 3. Each icon is associated with a text alternative reading "Track 1," "Track 2," or "Track 3," as appropriate.

Example 3: A form with required fields

A form contains several required fields. The labels for the required fields are displayed in red. In addition, at the end of each label is an asterisk character, *. The instructions for completing the form indicate that "all required fields are displayed in red and marked with an asterisk *", followed by an example.

Note: Asterisks may not be read by all screen readers (in all reading modes) and may be difficult for users with low vision because they are rendered in a smaller size than default text. It is important for authors to include the text indicating that asterisk is used and to consider increasing the size of the asterisk that is presented.

Example 4: A form with a green submit button

An on-line loan application explains that green buttons advance in the process and red buttons cancel the process. A form contains a green button containing the text Go. The instructions say "Press the button labeled Go to submit your results and proceed to the next step."


No resources available for this technique.



For each item where a color difference is used to convey information:

  1. Check that the information conveyed is also available in text and that the text is not conditional content.

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.