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RE: Label versus Title

From: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 12:41:39 -0500
To: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <NDBBKJDAKKEJDCICIODLMEGFEDAA.jim@jimthatcher.com>
I agree with David that the version with invisible text is not a good idea.
The agreement ends there.

If you use LABEL as a container for the INPUT element as well as the text,
then screen readers will ignore it. So don't do that. The only case where
the LABEL as a container is legal HTML is the situation where screen readers
pick up the prompt without any mark up by the author so it is not worth the

"Enter Year" is a perfect use of title on an input element whose contents is
supposed to be the year. But considering unnecessary noise with a screen
reader I would just use "Year."

In your example where part of the text could be used for one input element
and the other part for another is a great use of the label element. Usually
that does not work, like Zip Code with two fields, and Phone Number with
three entry fields.

Accessibility Consulting
Constructing Accessible Web Sites, is now available at Amazon:
I recommend it. It's a good book!

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of David Woolley
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002 5:26 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Label versus Title

> <label for="month">Please enter your birth month and year:</label> <input
> type="text" id="month"> <input type="text" id="year" title="Enter year">

This is a misuse of title; an appropriate title might be "year of birth".

> <label for="month">Please enter your birth month</label> and <label
> for="year">year</label>:<input type="text" id="month"> <input type="text"
> id="year">

I don't think "Please enter your" is really part of the label, but otherwise
this makes sense.  I would say that it benefits all users, so doesn't
need to be justified on accessibility grounds.

> <label for="month">Please enter your birth month</label> and year:<input
> type="text" id="month"><span class="invisibleText"><label for="year">Enter
> your birth year</label></span> <input type="text" id="year">

No on two grounds:

- you've lost the usability to general users;
- this is a misuse of span; the class should be on the label.

Also note, that from an HTML point of view, if not a working round broken
browsers point of view, the label element should enclose the input element
and you will then not need the for parameter (and id can be name).  You
would then need another element to cause invisibility, but do you really
need to suppress helpful information?
Received on Saturday, 20 April 2002 13:42:03 UTC

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