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Technique G1:Adding a link at the top of each page that goes directly to the main content area

About this Technique

This technique is Sufficient to meet 2.4.1: Bypass Blocks.


All technologies that contain links

This technique relates to 2.4.1: Bypass Blocks (Sufficient when used with Creating links to skip blocks of repeated material using one of the following techniques:).


The objective of this technique is to provide a mechanism to bypass blocks of material that are repeated on multiple Web pages by skipping directly to the main content of the Web page. The first interactive item in the Web page is a link to the beginning of the main content. Activating the link sets focus beyond the other content to the main content. This technique is most useful when a Web page has one main content area, rather than a set of content areas that are equally important, and when there are not multiple navigation sections on the page.

It is preferable for links to be visible at all times, since users navigating via the keyboard include switch users, those using techniques that generate keyboard strokes slowly, screen magnification software users, screen reader users working with sighted colleagues, keyboard only users and those navigating using voice recognition software. However, Success Criterion 2.4.1 does not require that they be visible when they do not have focus, and links that are visible only when they have focus can meet this success criterion.


Example 1: An online newspaper

An on-line newspaper contains many sections of information: a search function, a corporate banner, sidebars, minor stories, how to contact the newspaper, etc. The lead story is located in the middle of the page. The first link that the user reaches when tabbing through the page is titled "Skip to Lead Story". Activating the link moves visual focus to the story. Pressing tab again takes the user to the first link in the main story.

Other sources

No endorsement implied.



  1. Check that a link is the first focusable control on the Web page.
  2. Check that the description of the link communicates that it links to the main content.
  3. Check that the link is either always visible or visible when it has keyboard focus.
  4. Check that activating the link moves the focus to the main content.
  5. Check that after activating the link, the keyboard focus has moved to the main content.

Expected Results

  • All checks above are true.

Test Rules

The following are Test Rules related to this Technique. It is not necessary to use these particular Test Rules to check for conformance with WCAG, but they are defined and approved test methods. For information on using Test Rules, see Understanding Test Rules for WCAG Success Criteria.

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