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Re: table of contents - leader dots best practice


From: chagnon@pubcom.com
Date: Oct 4, 2022 2:45PM

Quote: " All the advice I've found has been contradictory on this." /End Quote

That's because the accessibility standards, both WCAG and PDF/UA, don't fully address these page elements. Consequently, there's no guidance for assistive technologies to develop toward. Any guidance you find is someone's opinion — and maybe it's good advice, maybe it isn't, or it may or may not work for your particular TOC.

This topic is perfect timing as I design a template for a client's report.

Sometimes I think we should artifact the leader dots, but we have run into some TOCs that voice very incorrectly when the leaders are artifacted. Example:

A TOC item that has 15 leader dots between the title and page number. Looks like this:

Chapter 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

If the leader dots are artifacted, it can be voiced as "Chapter 351" or "Chapter 3 (slight pause) 51."

If the leader dots aren't artifacted, it can be voiced as "Chapter 3 dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot 51."

Or "Chapter 3 dot dot dot 51."

Or "Chapter 3 15 dot 51."

Note that there is no law that prevents other designs of TOC items. In fact, the above format with a dot leader is traditional only in standard office documents, not in magazines and other highly-designed documents. I could design it with the page number first followed by a bullet and the title: "51 • Chapter 3". Or I could design something visually dynamic with large text, color, and graphics for a picture-centered TOC in a magazine.

As a sighted content creator, I don't have a clue how any of these variations will be voiced to my audience because every A T handles the TOC differently. Plus user settings and preferences can affect how a TOC item is voiced.

Ideally, I want all users to know that Chapter 3 starts on page 51, and have an active accessible hyperlink to it.

I think that we, the industry, need to work on better standards for this and also work with assistive technology manufacturers to get decent implementations in our various A T. If there was a way to identify or tag the 51 portion as the page number, then there wouldn't be so much confusion when the leaders are artifacted, or when the sequence is flipped with the page number first, followed by the title.

I guess I could have the word "Page" before each page number, but that gets visually clunky for sighted users.

Just my 2 cents' worth!

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Bevi Chagnon | Designer, Accessibility Technician | <EMAIL REMOVED>

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-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Laura Roberts
Sent: Tuesday, October 4, 2022 1:38 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: [WebAIM] table of contents - leader dots best practice

In a TOC, should leader dots be artifacted or not?

All the advice I've found has been contradictory on this.


Best regards,

Laura Roberts