[Note: the title of this post should be “Little steps to accessibility : Title attributes, part 1” but I’ve found that editing post titles in WordPress can cause problems so I’ll leave it as is but refer to title attributes rather than tags from now on. Thanks to Matt Andrews for pointing me to Roger Johansson’s article, HTML tags vs. elements vs. attributes]
Anyway, a bit of tinkering under the hood took place last night and if you’re reading this with Internet Explorer you can now resize the text by clicking the “View” button on the top menu bar of the browser window, choose Text Size then Larger or Largest.
For your commenting pleasure, we now have live preview (via this plugin), with the option to add title attributes to your links – hooray!
Not sure about title attributes?
Let’s say you wanted to leave a comment on a discussion about books. We’re all recommending our favourite books and you would like to add your twopenorth (that’s around 2 cents for our American cousins) but rather than just type the author and title of the book, you’d like to link to a specific version of the book on, say, the Amazon website.
Copy and paste the text from just above the comment box, it’ll look like this:
<a href="" title="">
Between the first set of double quotation marks, add the url of the site you want to link to.
<a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/etc." title="">
Then between the second set of double quotation marks add a descriptive title of the link you’re using, in this case you might write
<a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/etc." title="Amazon listing for Nevil Shute's book A Town Like Alice">
You’ll then produce a link like this:
Now, I’m still on the learning curve with title adding. I’ve a feeling that you should avoid using single quotation marks and I’m very unsure about the duplication in the example above but I’ll research it further. Contributions are, as always, welcomed.
It’s also really helpful to use title attributes on links within your blog posts – not only are they read out by screenreaders (with the option switched on?), sighted readers can hover over the link to find out more about the url you’re sending them to.
I’m also unsure about omitting the title attribute if the link text itself is self-explanatory. For example, the link in the new first paragraph:
Roger Johansson’s article, HTML tags vs. elements vs. attributes
I’ve used the author’s name and the title of the article so I would lean toward not adding a title attribute here but I’m wondering if that’s correct. More research to be done!