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a element placeholder link with no event handler or href attribute Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: October 16, 2021

Expected Result: works in a screen reader

Actual Result: causes problems in 7 screen reader / browser combinations

WCAG Technique: placeholder links

Code used for this test:


        <a>Placeholder text</a>
    

Reliability Trend

This graph shows reliability over time for this code in NVDA, JAWS and Voiceover. Other screen readers don't have enough historical data yet to plot trends.

100%80%60%40%20%0%20152016201791%201893%201993%202093%202193%

Change History

Last updated: October 16, 2021

Screen readerBrowserModeNotesWhat the user hears
OK NVDA 2021.2Chrome 94 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2021.2Chrome 94 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2021.2FF91 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2021.2FF91 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2021.2Edge 94 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2021.2Edge 94 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2020.2Chrome 86 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2020.2Chrome 86 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2020.2FF78 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2020.2FF78 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2020.2Edge 92 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2020.2Edge 92 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2019.2Chrome 79 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2019.2Chrome 79 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2019.2FF68 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2019.2FF68 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2019.2IE11 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2019.2IE11 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2018.4Chrome 73 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2018.4Chrome 73 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2018.4FF60 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2018.4FF60 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2018.4IE11 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2018.4IE11 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2017.3FF60 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2017.3FF60 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK NVDA 2017.3IE11 Reading Placeholder text
OK NVDA 2017.3IE11 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2021.2107.12Chrome 94 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2021.2107.12Chrome 94 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2021.2107.12FF91 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2021.2107.12FF91 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2021.2107.12Edge 94 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2021.2107.12Edge 94 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2020.2008.24Chrome 86 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2020.2008.24Chrome 86 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2020.2008.24FF78 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2020.2008.24FF78 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2020.2008.24Edge 92 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2020.2008.24Edge 92 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2019.1912.1Chrome 79 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2019.1912.1Chrome 79 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2019.1912.1FF68 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2019.1912.1FF68 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2019.1912.1IE11 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2019.1912.1IE11 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2Chrome 73 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2Chrome 73 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2FF60 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2FF60 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2IE11 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2IE11 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 18.0.5038FF52 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 18.0.5038FF52 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK JAWS 18.0.5038IE11 Reading Placeholder text
OK JAWS 18.0.5038IE11 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
Fail VoiceOver macOS 11.5Safari 15.0 ReadingAnnounced as clickable, but no event handler so nothing happens when clicked Placeholder text, clickable
OK VoiceOver macOS 11.5Safari 15.0 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
Fail VoiceOver macOS 10.15Safari 14.1 ReadingAnnounced as clickable, but no event handler so nothing happens when clicked Placeholder text, clickable
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.15Safari 14.1 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
Fail VoiceOver macOS 10.14Safari 13.0 ReadingAnnounced as clickable, but no event handler so nothing happens when clicked Placeholder text, clickable
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.14Safari 13.0 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
Fail VoiceOver macOS 10.13Safari 12.1 ReadingAnnounced as clickable, but no event handler so nothing happens when clicked Placeholder text, clickable
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.13Safari 12.1 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
Fail VoiceOver macOS 10.12Safari 10.1.2 ReadingAnnounced as clickable, but no event handler so nothing happens when clicked Placeholder text, clickable
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.12Safari 10.1.2 TabbingSkipped when tabbing, as expected
OK VoiceOver iOS 14.7Safari iOS 14.7Touch Placeholder text
OK VoiceOver iOS 13.3Safari iOS 13.3Touch Placeholder text
OK VoiceOver iOS 12.4Safari iOS 12.4Touch Placeholder text
OK VoiceOver iOS 11.4Safari iOS 11.4Touch Placeholder text
OK VoiceOver iOS 10.3Safari iOS 10.3Touch Placeholder text
Fail SaToGo 3.4.96.0IE11 ReadingAnnounced as a link, but doesn't function as link Link, placeholder text
Fail SaToGo 3.4.96.0IE11 TabbingAnnounced as a link, but doesn't function as link Placeholder text, link

Test notes

All tests were carried out with screen reader factory settings. JAWS in particular has a wide variety of settings controlling exactly what gets spoken.

Screen readers allow users to interact in different modes, and can produce very different results in each mode. The modes used in these tests are:

In the "What the user hears" column: