Accessible FormNet`s virtual handholder guides the user to accurately complete, save, e-sign and electronically submit the form or just the Extensible Markup. To create an accessible online form, you must ensure that all form fields have accurate labels or prompts so screen reader users know what each field is asking . Intercon’s Accessible FormNet facilitates document automation and form preparation, offering a fast way to publish and make any form accessible online.

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While placeholder text provides valuable guidance for many users, placeholder text is not a replacement for labels. This makes sense if the user has been informed of the format before, or when there are lots of input fields with the same format, for example. Also, PDF form fields have a tendency to be out of order, so you must be sure to test the tab order of your form, to be sure that users will move through the form in a logical sequence when jumping between fields using the keyboard.

This same approach can be used to avoid visual redundancy of displaying both labels and placeholder text. Assistive technologies, such as screen readers, do not treat placeholder text as labels.

Positioning labels to maximize predictability of relationships H For example, indicate any required and optional input, allowed data formats, formnrt timing limitations. For all user interface components including but not limited to: Placeholder text provides instructions or an example of the required data format inside form fields that have not yet been edited by the user. To ensure backward compatibility, the for and id attributes are also used in this example.

This page combined the following WCAG 2. Provide instructions to help users understand how to complete the form and use individual form controls. Overall instructions Where relevant, provide overall instructions that apply to the entire form. Headings and labels describe topic or purpose. Placeholder text is usually displayed with lower fornmet contrast than text provided by users, and it disappears from form fields when users start entering text.


Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text. These tutorials provide best-practice guidance on implementing accessibility in different situations. Section Hidden labels of this tutorial describes how to hide information visually but keep it available to assistive technology. To avoid this problem, JavaScript can be used to make labels appear visually in the associated label element above or beside the input that has focus.

However, as forms grow in complexity, screen readers that guess at labels are more likely to guess incorrectly, which means users are more likely to complete the form incorrectly.

Extra help can be forj immediately after each field. At the time of writing this tutorial, web browsers usually display the placeholder text in a color that does not meet the minimum contrast requirement of WCAG 2. That is, it is not automatically accesxible or read aloud. Forms typically have labels or prompts that are obvious to sighted users, but their association with particular form fields is made based on visual cues, such as relative position and proximity to the field.

Form Instructions

This will be explained further below. This means they are hard to see for many people. Other screen readers will guess at the label, and in this example will probably guess accurately.

If the placeholder text contains instructional information or examples that disappear, it makes it more difficult for users to check their responses before submitting the form. For groups of related fields such as radio buttons and checkboxes, each form field must have a label as described in the previous section. By using aria-describedby to reference the format of the field, this information is made available to the users on request. For example, to indicate required input fields and data formats in the text of the labels.

Interactive forms in Adobe PDF have many of the fotm issues as those described above. In the example below, form instructions indicate how required fields are marked, the expected format for the main data fields, and where to find additional help for each input.


Ensuring that a contrast ratio of at least 4. The following code has been corrected.

Creating Accessible Forms | Accessible Technology

For simple use cases, providing instructions within labels may be sufficient. The following code snippet sets the fornmet to a light gray, which has just enough contrast to meet the contrast requirement, assuming the background of the element is white.

In most web browsers the color of the placeholder can be styled using proprietary CSS selectors. Where relevant, provide overall instructions that apply to the entire form. University of Washington Be boundless Connect with us: Providing descriptive labels G Web browsers use a combination of color and opacity to achieve this effect.

This approach is reliable across different web browsers and assistive technologies, although it may require some additional thought to support some styling needs. Following are a few techniques for accomplishing this.

A variety of creative alternative solutions have been proposed that do not burden the user. Using label elements to associate text labels with form controls H Screen readers will announce both the label and help text when the form field has focus.

Form Instructions • Forms • WAI Web Accessibility Tutorials

Providing instructions outside of labels allows more flexible positioning and design, but sometimes it can be missed. At the time of writing this tutorial, this approach is not fully supported by all web browsers and assistive technologies, for example, Braille displays.

In addition to overall instructions, it is also important to provide relevant instructions within the labels of the form controls. Be aware that this makes it very hard for users to review the form. Labels and prompts must all be created in a way that explicitly accessivle them with their corresponding form fields.