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  1. #26
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Yorkshire, UK
    123 Post(s)
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I would say the title attribute should be required for anchor links, it gives people an idea of what they will find behind each hyperlink if they choose to click (beyond the basic information given in the link text), it has some obvious benefits for accessibility.
    I disagree. Very often, the link text and surrounding content can give a complete and accurate description of the link destination. Only when that isn't possible or ideal should link text be used.

    Often, link titles simply repeat or flesh out the link text. eg
    <a href="about.htm" title="Click here to find out more about our company">About us</a>
    doesn't actually give any more information or indication to a visitor than
    <a href="about.htm">About us</a>

    Given that a high proportion of visitors won't look for/at link titles, if you put anything essential in the title, all you are doing is hiding it from people.

    As for improving accessibility, I don't know that it has any significant benefits. Keyboard navigation generally won't display any title attribute text. Screen readers may or may not read it. People with restricted vision may find it difficult or confusing to have a tooltip appear, especially if it has a lot of text in it.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't use the title attribute on links - there are times when it is very helpful to do that - but I really don't think that it is more than a significant minority of times at most.

  2. #27
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Nottingham, UK
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    I agree, 'About Us' tells someone all they need to know about what is on the page. 'Information about the company' or something doesn't give any more information, it's redundant, and if I was a screen reader user, I'd probably get bored and annoyed with every link effectively read out twice.

  3. #28
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    25 Post(s)
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    The greatest use for the title attribute should be on images where you need title="" to correct for the bug in IE6.

    Title attributes used elsewhere should only be used where they provide meaningful information (eg. on an <acronym> or <abbr> tag where it can be used to tell people what the acronym or abbreviation means - for example <abbr title="IBM abbreviation for air movement device more commonly known as a fan">AMD</abbr> )
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