W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > June 2012

Re: Selectable text inside block level links (was Re: Clickable area for hyperlinks)

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:21:26 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDBULRpuAbTBHpiw5bOtyw7kERo6iHxk5KH0KQ4Y6d+d-Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: André Luís <me@andr3.net>
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 12:36 PM, André Luís <me@andr3.net> wrote:
> On Jun 14, 2012, at 6:51 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>> On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 10:36 AM, Simon Sapin <simon.sapin@kozea.fr> wrote:
>>> Le 14/06/2012 19:04, Tab Atkins Jr. a écrit :
>>>> The "actionable area" is just the element's own geometry, based on its
>>>> display type and the relevant properties.   That's well-defined by the
>>>> layout mode it's in.
>>> Most box types have a margin/outer area, border area, padding area and
>>> content area (each including the next). Which of these is the actionable
>>> area? Where is this defined? In browsers it seems to be the margin/outer
>>> area.
>> Border area.  That's the area that hit-testing is done on.
>> Hit-testing is not defined in CSS yet, unfortunately.
> On a related albeit a bit offtopic-ish note (apologize for the hijack), block-level links have a "defect" of disabling text selection.
> Tab (or anyone else, for that matter),
> given your experience, where do you think this "problem" is best tackled? The what-wg, here (www-style), bug reports on all user-agent trackers...?
> And by block level links I'm referring to <a> with display:block; or <a> with block level elements inside (as permitted by the HTML5 spec).
> Now, if you have a paragraph (or a long portion), that text is pretty much unselectable on all user agents apart from mobile, which can cause frustration when using them.

Unfortunately, that's a pretty basic quality of normal links.  They
hijack the clicking behavior, which happens to look a lot like
selection behavior.

This should probably be brought up with individual browsers as a bug
report.  Hopefully they can figure out some way you can click on a
link without following it, so you can select text (like maybe

Alternately, in some browsers you can activate Caret Navigation mode,
which lets you navigate around the text of the page with a text
cursor.  You should be able to use that to select text inside a link.

Received on Friday, 15 June 2012 20:22:15 UTC

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