Accessibility: UI Text Guidelines
Accessibility means making your software usable and accessible for a wide range of users, including those with disabilities.
- Use introductory text to inform users of screen readers about the controls or tasks available.
- Use a title in the title bar of every surface.
- Label every control. This applies to both standard and custom controls. These labels are essential for integrating assistive technology into the product. Also, for controls that the user can manipulate, labels are required so that access keys can be assigned.
In cases where a label would be visually distracting, such as on an icon or where space is limited, you can make the label invisible. The label is still accessible to a screen reader.
- Place text labels above or to the left of controls, depending on the space available. If you place a label elsewhere, screen readers might not associate it with the correct control. If you place a label to the left of its control, ensure that you leave sufficient space for the text to expand 30 percent during localization.
- Label every icon that represents an object.
- Label every image. This includes text in images, such as address information in a .jpg file. You can use both traditional and programmatic (such as ALT text) labels.
- Place a colon (:) at the end of the label's text string, unless you are labeling a button, tab, or group box control. Older screen-review utilities often use a colon to identify the control.
- For text in images, which isn’t accessible by screen readers, expose the text by using the Microsoft Active Accessibility programming interfaces.
- Do not represent user choices through visual means alone. You can pair visual choices (such as colors or line widths) with text, as shown in the following figure.