Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) Overview

Authoring Tools and ATAG

Authoring tools are software and services that “authors” (web developers, designers, writers, etc.) use to produce web content (static web pages, dynamic web applications, etc.). Examples of authoring tools are listed below under “Who ATAG is for”.

The Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) documents explain how to:

ATAG is part of a series of accessibility guidelines, including the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG). Essential Components of Web Accessibility explains the relationship between the different guidelines.

Who ATAG is for

ATAG is primarily for developers of authoring tools, including the following types of authoring tools:

ATAG and supporting resources are also intended to meet the needs of many different audiences, including policy makers, managers, and others. For example:

What is in ATAG 2.0

ATAG 2.0 has two main parts:

ATAG 2.0 is organized in layers:

ATAG at a Glance provides a short summary of the accessibility principles and guidelines in ATAG 2.0.

Implementing ATAG 2.0 is a supporting informative document that helps readers understand and use ATAG. Implementing ATAG 2.0 provides the rationale for each guideline; and for each success criterion, it provides the further explanation of the intent of the success criteria, examples, and links to resources.

ATAG Report Tool

The ATAG Report Tool helps evaluators report on the accessibility of authoring tools. It guides you through the ATAG requirements, lets you record your evaluation results for each requirement, and generates a report of the authoring tool’s ATAG conformance.

ATAG Versions: 1.0 and 2.0

ATAG 2.0 is a W3C Recommendation. This means that ATAG 2.0 is a completed standard, having received public comments, completed implementation testing, demonstrated real world examples of products that are using ATAG 2.0 to make their products more accessible, and being approved by the W3C membership. (These stages are explained in How WAI Develops Accessibility Guidelines through the W3C Process.)

Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 was approved in February 2000. While ATAG 1.0 is still a valid standard, it is outdated. ATAG 2.0 is the current standard.


ATAG 2.0 is available as an Authorized W3C Translation in Chinese, Simplified: 无障碍创作工具指南(ATAG) 2.0.

Who develops ATAG

ATAG was developed by the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (ATAG WG), which is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). For more information about the working group, see the AUWG page.

How WAI Develops Accessibility Guidelines through the W3C Process: Milestones and Opportunities to Contribute describes formal periods for public review. Opportunities for review and comment of WAI documents are announced on the WAI home page and WAI Interest Group mailing list. An email address for sending comments is included in the “Status of this Document” section.

Opportunities for contributing to ATAG and other WAI work are introduced in Participating in WAI.

Back to Top