W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2007

Re: Placeholder Text for Text Boxes

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 23:54:10 -0500
Message-Id: <0D046BF8-3FAB-4CAF-80A1-72B91913AE7F@robburns.com>
Cc: "HTML Working Group" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Richard Conyard <Richard@redantdesign.com>

Hi Richard and Maurice,

I replied on another thread that started with [off-topic]. However,  
since I think this is very relevant to the proposed change to the  
draft, I think it bests if I post it here in this thread.

The INPUT element also accepts the @alt attribute. Though it wasn't  
intended for this purpose, it might still be useful for screen  
readers if the placeholder text got repeated there. Though we would  
need to test this to be suer before recommending authors follow that  

This may be a better way to get to screen readers and audible  
browsers than using hacks involving label. Since the placeholder text  
can only be a string (nor marked up), the value of the @alt attribute  
can provide everything needed for non-visual browser users.

Take care,

On Aug 20, 2007, at 10:16 AM, Richard Conyard wrote:

> I believe the current practice of placing the label with a negative
> margin (i.e. off-page, but still set to visible since display: none
> would cause this not to be read by some screen readers), may still be
> the best solution here.
> This would invalidate the need for any additional indication  
> attributes.
> Richard.
> PS. Sorry if I have misunderstood your point.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html- 
> request@w3.org] On
> Behalf Of Maurice Carey
> Also, is there, or is there going to be a way to indicate that an
> element should be invisible for sighted users but any text in that
> element should still be read for screen readers?
> For example:
> For a design where I have to put the text "username" and "password"
> inside the input since there was no space to have a proper <label> I'd
> like to be able to have put a proper label for the benefit of blind
> users but still have it display:none for sighted users since  
> they'll be
> able to see the text inside the input. I may have the text "username"
> and "password" appear by using background images in the <input> since
> "password" in a password input looks like "********"
Received on Tuesday, 21 August 2007 04:54:22 UTC

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