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RE: Bold vs Strong

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@levelaccess.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2018 16:16:50 +0000
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CY1PR03MB22045238AA9BA9891EBB802EF1200@CY1PR03MB2204.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
I would agree that if strong versus bold were used correctly then users who use custom stylesheets would be able to overwrite the 2 correctly.  For example, a b element could used within a heading because the heading already communicates the structure.  However, for a passage that was bolded to communicate strong semantics then the strong element would be the correct semantics with my custom CSS that I might want overridden.  So not all uses of b are problematic -- only the ones that are used to communicate semantic information that is not communicated another way.

I would consider use of B or I a guided automatic or potential automatic test because their use relies on human or AI judgement


Jonathan Avila
Chief Accessibility Officer
Level Access
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-----Original Message-----
From: Michael A. Peters [mailto:mpeters@domblogger.net] 
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2018 11:18 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Bold vs Strong

One of the reasons I like strong / em is that I can use the semantic 
strong / em and then use css to make the visual distinction different 
that b / i when needed.

I rarely do that but for example - in an aside I normally have the the 
text italicized already so in an aside, I tend to use css to use more 
font weight with the em tag and both more font weight and underline with 
the strong tag.

Technically can do that with b / i tags as well - but using the CSS to 
override what tags historically mean isn't something I like.

But em / strong have semantic meaning and the display of bold / italic 
is just a default intended to be altered as needed.

Screen readers may not currently distinguish between b / i and strong / 
em but that doesn't make the difference meaningless.

On 08/06/2018 07:24 AM, Pyatt, Elizabeth J wrote:
> I concur with Mohith.
> Because most screen readers and visual browsers treat STRONG/B identically by default, the distinction seems irrelevant for now.
>  It is important to note that screen readers ignore both STRONG/B tags along with EM/I and color changes by default. Use either one as needed assuming that they convey little semantic info to screen readers.
> If you really are using STRONG/B or EM/I for major inline emphasis, you may want to add text like Note: or Warning: or Important: This was the recommendation I got from my screen reader colleagues.
> It's also important to tag headings consistently regardless of other formatting tags. Some cautions etc. can be headings.
> My two cents.
> Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
> Sent from my iPad
>> On Aug 6, 2018, at 1:32 AM, Mohith BP <mohith.ckm49@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Vinil,
>> Though WCAG recommends using <em> and <strong> elements, however, the
>> support from the major screen readers for these 2 tags is nill.
>> Please refer:
>> https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.w3.org%2FWAI%2FWCAG20%2FTechniques%2Fua-notes%2Fhtml%23H49&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cejp10%40psu.edu%7C5fac45f8eafa433d7cea08d5fb5e10c1%7C7cf48d453ddb4389a9c1c115526eb52e%7C0%7C0%7C636691303780330250&amp;sdata=n4c9uZ8knlvd0aYyKDm0a1GXB2vKjsGVJidOO4dHwQw%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> Thanks & Regards,
>> Mohith B. P.
>>> On 8/5/18, Vinil Peter <vinilpeter.wcag@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Dear colleagues,
>>> I have been asked to provide my thoughts on a debate on the use of bold <b>
>>> and strong <strong> for one of my clients. The client's internal
>>> accessibility testing team marked all the instances where <b> was used as
>>> errors and recommended to change them to <strong> so that screen readers
>>> read out the text with added emphasis. This has brought their quality and
>>> compliance scores down drastically. The client's developers are unhappy
>>> about this and claim that they should not be marked down as there is no
>>> clear guideline or fine print that mandates use of <strong> over <b>.
>>> Moreover, W3C has not deprecated <b> yet and it's usage is still permitted.
>>> <b> has been in use since ages and asking to replace all bold text with
>>> strong is like declaring that  use of <b> should be banned henceforth.
>>> I am planning to give my recommendation to use <strong> in headers or
>>> functionality names etc. if the text is bold as per  design, while it is
>>> still fair to allow use of <b> for other bold text. The 'appropriate usage'
>>> of bold or strong is finally the designer's call as there is no clear
>>> guideline.
>>> Is my recommendation correct or am I missing something? What your thoughts
>>> and have you come across any such debate?
>>> ⁣Regards,
>>> Vinil Peter, PMP​

Received on Monday, 6 August 2018 16:28:42 UTC

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