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Fwd: Form Labels and Reading Order

From: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 13:38:35 +0100
Message-ID: <e2a28a920607240538q73606477h35e6082352172da4@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org


Beck, I've tried writing to you directly, but the emails keep bouncing
back so I'm sending this to the group.

I wrote to Richard Ishida for advice on label positioning and reading
order. His response is very helpful, and included below. How shall we
proceed? Shall I write (or does someone else want to volunteer?) an
advisory technique that incorporates Richard's thoughts, and then post
it to the www-international list to ensure everyone agrees?

Best regards,


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: 24-Jul-2006 13:19
Subject: RE: Form Labels and Reading Order
To: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Cc: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, w3t-archive@w3.org

Hello Gez,

We haven't examined this case thoroughly in the i18n activity yet, but here
are some thoughts from the top of my head.

Pages written in right-to-left scripts would probably position labels on the
opposite side to you and me, yes.  Having said that, if you set the
directionality of the page or section to rtl, and *if you just let the text
and input elements flow naturally*, then the reordering of text relative to
input fields, radio buttons and checkboxes will just happen.

Note, however, that there is another reason for being careful about
recommending placements of labels to the side of form controls such as text
input fields: text usually grows in length when translated from English into
a foreign language.  This can make it difficult to fit the translation to
the side of the field.

You can see an example of this on page 72 of
http://www.w3.org/2006/Talks/04-i18n-china.pdf where

Interface |-----
Language  |------


Sprache   |------
der       |------

in German.

Putting the text above the input box can alleviate expansion issues.

I hope that's helpful as a start.  If you'd like more feedback, I suggest
you post the question on the www-international list.  There are people on
that list who's main language uses a rtl script.


Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gez Lemon [mailto:gez.lemon@gmail.com]
> Sent: 24 July 2006 09:39
> To: ishida@w3.org
> Subject: Form Labels and Reading Order
> Hi Richard,
> Can I ask you for some advice, please?
> The WCAG working group are considering offering advice on
> label positions. The usual advice is to either position the
> label for a form control either immediately to the left of
> the form control, or immediately above the form control; the
> exception to this rule is for radio buttons and checkboxes,
> where the labels are positioned to the right of the form
> control to indicate that the text is actually part of the
> control; emulating a button.
> Are there reading order issues we should be considering, and
> if there are, are there generic rules we could follow
> depending on the reading order of the language?
> Many thanks,
> Gez
> --
> _____________________________
> Supplement your vitamins
> http://juicystudio.com

Supplement your vitamins
Received on Monday, 24 July 2006 12:38:50 UTC

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