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”.
Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) explains how to:
- make the authoring tools themselves accessible, so that people with disabilities can create web content, and
- help authors create more accessible web content — specifically: enable, support, and promote the production of content that conforms to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
ATAG is part of a series of accessibility guidelines, including Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG). Essential Components of Web Accessibility explains the relationship between the different guidelines.
ATAG is relevant today, as it is technology agnostic. ATAG was published in 2015 and references WCAG 2.0. We encourage you to use the latest version of WCAG 2.
Who ATAG is for
ATAG is primarily for developers of authoring tools, including the following types of authoring tools:
- web page authoring tools, for example, what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) HTML editors
- software for generating websites, for example, content management systems (CMS) and learning management systems (LMS), courseware tools, content aggregators, no-code website builders
- software that converts documents to web content technologies, for example, word processors and other office document applications with Save as HTML or EPUB
- multimedia authoring tools
- websites that let users add content, such as blogs, wikis, photo sharing sites, online forums, and social networking sites
- other types of tools listed in the glossary definition 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:
- People who want to choose authoring tools that are accessible and that produce accessible content can use ATAG to evaluate authoring tools.
- People who want to encourage their existing authoring tool developer to improve accessibility in future versions can refer the authoring tool vendor to ATAG.
What is in ATAG
ATAG has two main parts:
- Part A is about making the authoring tool itself accessible.
- Part B is about the authoring tool helping authors produce accessible content.
ATAG at a Glance provides a short summary of the accessibility principles and guidelines in ATAG.
ATAG is organized in layers:
- Principles provide high-level organization for the guidelines.
- Guidelines provide the framework and objectives for the success criteria.
- Success criteria are the accessibility requirements, which are written as testable statements, at three levels: A, AA, AAA.
ATAG 2.0 is a W3C Recommendation, which is a technical standard.
Implementing ATAG 2.0 is a supporting informative document that helps readers understand and use ATAG. Implementing ATAG provides the rationale for each guideline. For each success criterion, it provides 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 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 developed ATAG
Opportunities for contributing to WAI work is explained in Participating in WAI.Back to Top