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RE: Default Text [Was Access Keys]


From: L
Date: Aug 18, 2005 4:00AM

Ben Morrison wrote:

"I have always ignored the default text in input boxes, although i did come accross this yesterday:


any thoughts?"

The article states:

"More recently, it has come to light that there is one group of users that still rely
heavily upon place holding characters within forms inputs.

Users of Braille readers.

Unless a form text input contains at least one place holding character, Braille readers will not allow focus on that particular input. Which means that, if you do not include place holding characters within your online forms, Braille reader users will not be able to complete them."

Jaws and Window Eyes are not susceptible to this problem, both being capable of identifying empty edit fields on a web page.

I can't say for certain how long this has been a feature of either, but for Jaws it has been in evidence for at least the past 3 or 4 versions.

Jaws produces the Braille symbols for, "ed", to indicate an edit box. It can do this in either grade 1 or 2 Braille, as the user prefers.

Window Eyes behaves similarly, producing the symbols for, "eb" instead.

Both readers supply information on the type, data and name of any given control and both can be configured to adapt that information to the user's preference, for example just giving the type of the control, but not the name.

I don't know how other readers work in this regard, but with the two market leaders working in this way, the case for abandoning place holding characters looks promising. Certainly, a quick straw poll of Jaws and Window Eyes users suggests that place holding characters are not desireable for either speech or Braille output users.