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Re: Inline help for form fields

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 09:33:23 -0500
Message-ID: <003901c502ea$d2e764f0$a201a8c0@deque.local>
To: "Matthew Smith" <matt@kbc.net.au>, "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Matthew ,

The title is displayed as a tool tip by some browsers  and  displaying help text using the title  may be helpful. But the title is also used to function as a  label when screen text is not available  for   the control or more than one form controls need to be associated with a  label eg. controls in a data table. 
Sailesh Panchang
Senior Accessibility Engineer 
Deque Systems,11180  Sunrise Valley Drive, 
4th Floor, Reston VA 20191
Tel: 703-225-0380 Extension 105 
E-mail: sailesh.panchang@deque.com
Fax: 703-225-0387
* Look up <http://www.deque.com> *

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Matthew Smith 
  To: WAI Interest Group 
  Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 1:30 AM
  Subject: Inline help for form fields

  Hi All

  I would appreciate any comments regarding inline help for form fields.

  When we wish to label form fields, we have the use of the <label></label> 
  element.  Using the "for" attribute of the label and the "id" attribute of the 
  <input /> element, we establish a relationship.

  In the past (in my pre-accessibility days), I used to provide inline help by way 
  of putting hints, tips, comments, etc., in a <p></p> underneath the form field. 
    The obvious problem with this is that there is no formal relationship between 
  the help text and the field; the text could become meaningless if not confusing 
  if the rendering of the page were to separate the help text from the form field.

  Whilst I can use a title attribute in the form field to contain the help text, 
  exactly how much use is this?  How many user agents will actually present this 
  attribute to the reader so that it is useful?

  Any techniques that anyone may wish to share would be appreciated.



  Matthew Smith
  Kadina Business Consultancy
  South Australia
Received on Tuesday, 25 January 2005 14:37:20 UTC

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