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RE: Using Form Elements for Pages only Intended for Printing

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 05:10:26 -0500 (EST)
To: Geoff Deering <gdeering@acslink.net.au>
cc: Patrick Burke <burke@ucla.edu>, Carol Foster <c.foster@umassp.edu>, WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0201160505530.20590-100000@tux.w3.org>
As a sighted user with occasional keyboard problems, and as someone who has
had to read a lot of these forms (I have had some very interesting jobs, but
that mostly wasn't one) I also support the idea of having the HTML form.

It provides the simplest, most consistent way to enter the content and
present it. If you present [ ] as a checkbox, for example you get [X], [ X ],
[o], [---] and [+++], [Y] and [N] and all kinds of other variations. It might
not seem much, but I had the job becuase the variety was too hard for
scanning software to recognise, and it made an appreciable difference to
people too.

And people very commonly end up with a mess where you had an underscore. Or
they print off a form, and then try to fill in a space with 9pt handwriting.
And most people who can read 9pt type cannot write in 9pt.


Charles McCN

On Wed, 16 Jan 2002, Geoff Deering wrote:

  Thanks, I appreciate this insight, it helps a lot.

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Patrick Burke [mailto:burke@ucla.edu]
  Sent: Friday, 11 January 2002 8:50 AM
  To: gdeering@acslink.net.au; Carol Foster
  Cc: WAI Interest Group
  Subject: RE: Using Form Elements for Pages only Intended for Printing

  As a blind person I would say that the form element version is much

  If underscore or other characters are used to mark the input fields, then I
  (or anyone really) has to copy the page to a word processor (possibly
  losing original formatting), then fill in the ___ sections (& hope that
  doesn't mess up the formatting beyond recognition).

  The version with form markup would let me move quickly and accurately among
  the input fields, & their location on the page would be maintained
  automatically. So, other than the possibility of entering 3 pages of text
  into an edit field, the printout would match the original form more
  exactly. Which is, as I understand it, what people dealing with print forms

  So, I would vote in favor of forms markup, with a statement at the
  beginning that the form is for printing purposes and cannot be submitted


  At 01:34 PM 1/10/02, Geoff Deering wrote:
  >What I am really asking is, is
  >Name: _________________________________
  >Address: _______________________________
  >Etc the better markup for print?
  >The question is; Does using form elements immediately imply an
  >electronically submittable form?  And if so, is it best to use the above
  >Geoff Deering

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
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Received on Wednesday, 16 January 2002 05:14:10 UTC

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