[thelist] Indicating required form fields

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at speakeasy.net
Sat Feb 17 09:18:33 CST 2007

On Wed, 2007-02-14 at 11:24 -0500, Julian Rickards wrote:
> For example, I could use an * to indicate that a field is
> required and state that "Fields marked with an * must be
> completed". However, I don't think that "First Name *" is
> sufficient for screen reader users (maybe this assumption is
> wrong, maybe screen reader users are accustomed to seeing
> this and understand it but because I don't know a person who
> is a regular user of screen reader software, I don't know for
> certain). One suggestion is to replace the * with an image of
> the * with "required" as the alt text. This means that a
> screen reader user will hear "First Name required". However, 
> how do I indicate this at the top of the form? For example, 
> "Fields marked with an * must be completed", if I use an 
> image of the * with the alt text "required" in place of the 
> *, then it becomes (with a minor modification), "Fields 
> marked with required must be completed" (sighted users will 
> see "Fields marked with * must be completed").

It seems to me this would work well enough. I don't see the advantage in
making an entire sentence into a graphic. You want to be careful about
changing text into graphics as text will resize to the user's
preferences and graphics (usually) will not. I find it really annoying
to have (as someone on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html once called
it, using a much nastier word) fly-doodoo-sized text that I can't

Shawn K. Quinn <skquinn at speakeasy.net>

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