Web pages, non-web documents, and software have titles that describe topic or purpose. (Level A)


Descriptive titles help all users orient themselves when navigating through content or when moving between multiple applications or documents.

Screen readers announce titles before other content. If titles are missing, screen reader users must explore more content to determine the purpose. Conversely, if titles are identical for multiple pages, or repeat the same information before providing unique information, a user will hear repetitive content before understanding context.

The title should:

  • Succinctly identify the subject
  • Make sense when read out of context, for example by a screen reader, or in a site map or list of search results

If the page or document belongs to a collection, the title should:

  • List the most important identifying information first, if including the application or site as part of the title
  • Be unique within the collection

Development Techniques

Review the General techniques as well as other tabs applicable to your technology.  Prioritize the use of technology-specific techniques, and implement the General techniques as needed. You are always required to find, understand and implement accessible code techniques to meet the checkpoint. The documented techniques and supplements are not exhaustive; they illustrate acceptable ways to achieve the spirit of the checkpoint. If numbered, techniques are in order of preference, with recommended techniques listed first. Where used, IBM information that complements the WCAG techniques is indicated as supplemental.

General techniques

Any item in this section represents a technique deemed sufficient. Ensure you review WCAG Common Failures to avoid development mistakes.

Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques

Instructions: The following technique must be used IN COMBINATION with the General techniques.

Mobile Native (iOS) techniques

Instructions: The following Mobile Native iOS technique is sufficient when used IN COMBINATION with General technique G88: Providing descriptive titles for Web pages.

Add a heading to the top of the screen

iOS native applications do not have screen titles. In order to inform the user about the purpose of the screen, add a heading to the top of the screen, or if the screen has a menu, it can be placed after the menu as well. For the title text, use the guidelines under General techniques.

Eclipse techniques

Instructions: Each of the following techniques is sufficient when used IN COMBINATION with General technique G88.

Provide a window title for Shell widgets

Provide a title for all instances of org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Shell by calling setText method on the Shell.

Display display = new Display();

Shell shell = new Shell(display);

shell.setText("Provide a title for each window");

Extend JFace configureShell

Extend org.eclipse.jface.window.ApplicationWindow.configureShell method to set the text on the window's title bar.

   * Configures the shell
   * @param shell the shell
  protected void configureShell(Shell shell) {

    // Set the window's title text
    shell.setText("An Accessible Window Title");

Pass window title to constructor or convenience methods of JFace dialogs

Pass the window's title as an argument to JFace MessageDialog openInformation method.


public void execute(Shell shell) {

MessageDialog.openInformation(shell, "An Accessible Title", "Eclipse 4 Application example.");


Pass the window's title to the constructor of an ErrorDialog.

ErrorDialog dialog = new ErrorDialog(shell, "Error Dialog Title", "Provide a title for the error dialog.", status, IStatus.ERROR);

IWorkbenchWindowConfigurer.setTitle (3.x)

Set the title of the Rich client application by calling org.eclipse.ui.application.IWorkbenchWindowConfigurer.setTitle method. This method is available in Eclipse releases 3.x.

configurer.setTitle("An accessible title");

Application.e4xmi (4.x)

In Eclipse version 4.x. labels for application objects including windows and parts can be defined in the application model file, Application.e4xmi.

For further details on Eclipse 4 Applications, visit the Eclipse 4 Tutorials page.

Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques

In addition to the General techniques, each item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques deemed sufficient for meeting this checkpoint.

Set a window's title via SetWindowText

Set the text of a window's title bar by calling the SetWindowText function. This sends a WM_SETTEXT message to the specified window or control in the current process.

Send WM_SETTEXT message to window in another process

To set the text of a window or control running in another process, send a WM_SETTEXT message directly to the specified window or control.

Most links in this checklist reside outside ibm.com at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. W3C Recommendation 11 December 2008: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

Copyright © 1994-2017 World Wide Web Consortium, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, Keio University, Beihang University). All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2001, 2017 IBM Corporation