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Re: Label versus Title

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 08:55:46 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200204210755.g3L7tkv03249@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> 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

You seem to be saying that a simple label works and doesn't work.
Taking the doesn't work case first, I did include a caveat about broken
browsers.  Whilst one might have to work round it in the short term,
any failure to recognize the simple case of label is a bug in the browser
and needs to be fixed.  

> 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
> bother.

This is a good one.  This is why people use presentational markup, because
it works for what they want to do, so why bother with structural markup.
Label as a container doesn't just control speech, it should expand the
mouse sensitive area for the control into the text, as well as other 
browser behaviour appropriate to selecting a control.

I do, however, suspect that underlying the question is slavish adherence
to a rule that label must be used, possibly for legalistic reasons.  I 
think that is probably why the general case form was used in a special
case example.

> "Enter Year" is a perfect use of title on an input element whose contents is

"Enter Year" is a command, so is verbal.  Title is intended for noun phrases.
I suspect this comes from the general belief that you have to tell people
how to use the browser, not just how to use the web site, which in turn may be
due to the tendency to not use the, well understood, standard input controls
of the browser.  It's the same effect that causes every link to be "click

If you really must have the verbal element (and this would be rare in paper
forms) use "Space for you to enter your year of birth", but I'm sure most
people would prefer "year" or "year of birth".

> 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

It wasn't actually my example.
Received on Sunday, 21 April 2002 04:11:42 UTC

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