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Creating text emphasis

From: Web Accessibility Principles

Video: Creating text emphasis

>> Adding emphasis is not just about making certain words and phrases stand out visually, it should be a semantic markup practice as well. Emphasized words tell your users which words are more important and enhance the meaning of your text. There are two HTML elements that you can use for emphasizing text, the M tag and the Strong tag. The HTML element named M is completely different from the unit of measurement named M that we talked about earlier. The HTML M element is used to markup pieces of text you want to emphasize.

Creating text emphasis

>> Adding emphasis is not just about making certain words and phrases stand out visually, it should be a semantic markup practice as well. Emphasized words tell your users which words are more important and enhance the meaning of your text. There are two HTML elements that you can use for emphasizing text, the M tag and the Strong tag. The HTML element named M is completely different from the unit of measurement named M that we talked about earlier. The HTML M element is used to markup pieces of text you want to emphasize.

The strong element is used to markup pieces of text you want to strongly emphasize. There's no official guidance on what makes something emphasized versus strongly emphasized, so it's up to you to decide which to use. You can use both or you could just pick one and use that throughout your site. The important thing is to just be consistent in which ones you use and how you use them to markup text. Using consistent HTML elements throughout your site for the same purpose will also help you keep your style consistent for these elements as well.

Let's use Dreamweaver to add the M and Strong elements to our page. If you're following along with the exercise files, we're working on visitors.html, which is in the 04_08 folder of the chapter four exercise files. In Dreamweaver, you use the B and I buttons on the properties inspector to set text as strong or emphasized, respectively. In previous versions of Dreamweaver, the B and I buttons on the property inspector would add B and I tags for bold and italic, but those are presentational HTML elements that don't actually tell browsers what the text is.

Strong and M have the same default appearance as B and I, so strong will be bold and M will be italic, but they carry more information. Let's first add an M element to the page. Highlight over the word perfect at the top of the page, click on the I button in the properties inspector to apply the M element to this piece of text. You can see in design view that it has now become italic. But if we look down at the tag selector below the document window, we can see that the tag being used is M, not I.

Again, this is a more semantic tag that carries more information than the I tag did. Now let's add a strong tag. Highlight over the word renowned in the third sentence of the first paragraph, click on the B button in the properties inspector to apply the strong element to this text. Again, you can see that the text is now bold, but looking at the tag selector, the tag being used it strong, not B. We can use CSS to override these defaults, just like we did with heading.

Click on the new CSS rule button at the bottom of the CSS styles panel. Click on tag for selector type. Click on the arrow of the Tag Select menu and scroll down to select strong as the tag. Leave this document only selected for the define in option. Click okay. Let's keep the strong tags bold by clicking on the Weight menu and choosing bold from the options shown.

But let's also choose a color for our strong tags. Click on the color picker icon next to the color label. Let's select a bright red for the color. Choose the color CC0000 in the middle of the color palette. Click okay to accept these rules. If we now click off of the strong text so that it's no longer highlighted, you can see that it has applied the red color to the text. By setting this color in the CSS instead of in FONT tags or other presentational markup, we're ensuring that a variety of devices will know what this text is and can present it differently to their users.

If we are consistent about using the strong tag throughout the site to emphasize text, we now have a central CSS rule that will ensure that all of them are visually consistent. This will help sighted users make better sense of the page. So we've seen how to use the strong and M elements to add more semantic information about your text. Next, we'll continue adding semantic with the blockquote HTML element.

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This video is part of

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Web Accessibility Principles

68 video lessons · 25708 viewers

Zoe Gillenwater
Author

 
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      57s
  2. 33m 15s
    1. What does accessibility mean?
      5m 51s
    2. How does accessibility help your users?
      3m 30s
    3. Experiencing a website via a screen reader
      5m 46s
    4. How does accessibility help you and your clients?
      3m 9s
    5. Overview of Section 508 standards
      5m 51s
    6. Overview of WCAG standards
      6m 4s
    7. Understanding consistency and semantic markup
      3m 4s
  3. 54m 31s
    1. Understanding screen readers and accessibility tools
      6m 12s
    2. Getting accessible browsers
      5m 41s
    3. Customizing Firefox for accessibility testing
      5m 53s
    4. Using custom accessibility toolbars
      5m 28s
    5. Using Fangs and the Color Contrast Analyzer
      5m 30s
    6. Accessibility tools to bookmark
      5m 53s
    7. Using automated accessibility checking tools
      4m 57s
    8. Setting up the JAWS screen reader on Windows
      6m 42s
    9. Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X
      5m 52s
    10. Setting Dreamweaver accessibility preferences
      2m 23s
  4. 26m 12s
    1. Avoiding tables for layout
      3m 30s
    2. Using CSS for layout
      2m 40s
    3. Creating a fixed-width layout
      5m 51s
    4. Creating an elastic layout
      3m 51s
    5. Creating a liquid layout
      3m 4s
    6. Customizing a liquid layout
      7m 16s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Specifying the language
      3m 43s
    2. Setting page titles
      2m 16s
    3. Setting headings and paragraphs
      9m 55s
    4. Styling headings
      9m 56s
    5. Hiding section headings from sighted users
      6m 41s
    6. Styling text for readability
      6m 41s
    7. Ensuring proper color contrast
      6m 36s
    8. Creating text emphasis
      4m 29s
    9. Indicating quotations
      4m 29s
    10. Creating basic lists
      4m 16s
    11. Styling lists
      7m 15s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Using lists for navigation
      6m 45s
    2. Creating a horizontal navigation bar
      13m 25s
    3. Creating a vertical navigation bar
      11m 44s
    4. Adding skip navigation links
      12m 0s
    5. Hiding skip navigation links
      6m 17s
    6. Proper link text and title attributes
      6m 11s
    7. Opening new windows
      4m 28s
    8. Accessibility limitations of fly-out menus
      6m 30s
    9. Creating an accessible fly-out menu
      8m 38s
  7. 27m 55s
    1. Proper ALT text for navigation images
      4m 57s
    2. Proper ALT text for decorative images
      5m 19s
    3. Adding ALT text to an existing site
      6m 9s
    4. Adding ALT text to image maps
      5m 58s
    5. Describing complex graphics
      5m 32s
  8. 34m 1s
    1. Using tables for data
      3m 0s
    2. Creating header cells
      4m 5s
    3. Adding table captions and summaries
      9m 9s
    4. Styling tables
      5m 19s
    5. Applying header cells to complex tables
      6m 52s
    6. Adding id and headers attributes
      5m 36s
  9. 42m 7s
    1. Understanding form accessibility issues
      3m 7s
    2. Labeling form fields
      6m 9s
    3. Adding fieldsets and legends
      4m 42s
    4. Moving forms out of tables
      3m 44s
    5. Cleaning up a form's appearance
      4m 53s
    6. Aligning labels and fields using CSS
      9m 39s
    7. Indicating required fields
      6m 15s
    8. Dealing with CAPTCHA
      3m 38s
  10. 7m 29s
    1. The Text-Only technique
      3m 21s
    2. The Access Keys technique
      2m 35s
    3. The Tab Index technique
      1m 33s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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