W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2005

RE: additional label question

From: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 08:12:05 -0600
To: "'Beheler Kim'" <beheler_kim@bah.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000c01c5378d$fa7846b0$6501a8c0@jtcom2400>

>I have a data table that has input boxes in each cell.   Do the label tags
>need to be associated with the appropriate text in this situation …

First of all the answer to question is again the title attribute. 

You are right that the table headers provide the information that is needed
and, in effect that information is programmatically associated with the
control in each cell through the TH and scope. The problem for screen
readers is that the mode for interacting with form controls is different
from that for interacting with a table. In effect, when you are in forms
mode, you are not in table reading mode and conversely.

A familiar counter argument to using the title attribute is David Wooley's:
>Title is only available if the user agent recognizes it.

But the title attribute on an input is used in exactly those cases where the
prompting information is available in other ways to one who sees the page.
So in this case, the column headers are obvious when someone is looking at
the table - but not to a screen reader user as they tab into the form
control. 

Another example is the search entry field on IBM.com. When a screen reader
user tabs to the edit field, there is no information about the purpose of
the control. Using title="search" solves that problem. For a sighted user
the "Search" button after the edit field provides the information. (IBM uses
a hack: an invisible image with alt text enclosed in the label element,
probably because testing tools don't recognize the value of the title
attribute - YET. They will.)

Jim
 
Accessibility Consulting: http://jimthatcher.com/
512-306-0931
-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Beheler Kim
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 10:57 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: additional label question

Hi everyone,

I have another question regarding label tags for form fields.  I have a data
table that has input boxes in each cell.   Do the label tags need to be
associated with the appropriate text in this situation, since the data cell
is already associated with the header?  If so, is it possible to associate
multiple text boxes with the same label and how would you go about it?   An
example of code as follows:

<table align="center" width="80%" cellpadding="2">
            <tr>
                        <th scope= “col”>ID</th>
                        <th scope= “col”>First Name</th>
                        <th scope= “col”>Last Name</th>
            </tr>
            <tr>
                        <td scope=”row”><input type=”text” name=”id1”
/></td>
                        <td><input type=”text” name=”fname1” /></td>
                        <td><input type=”text” name=”lname1” /></td>
            </tr>
            <tr>
                        <td scope=”row”><input type=”text” name=”id2”
/></td>
                        <td><input type=”text” name=”fname2” /></td>
                        <td><input type=”text” name=”lname2” /></td>
            </tr>
</table>

Thanks in advance for your help,
Kim
Received on Saturday, 2 April 2005 14:12:42 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:14:21 GMT