The XHTML WYSIWYG Editor For Desktop & Web Applications

Screen Reader Preview

To see XStandard's Screen Reader Preview, press the Screen Reader Preview button on the editor's toolbar.

The role of XStandard's Screen Reader Preview

Code generated by XStandard is guaranteed to be accessibility-ready, but XStandard's Screen Reader Preview offers authors an additional opportunity to optimize content for accessibility. It does this by displaying content managed through XStandard as it is "read" by screen readers. This means content is laid out in linear fashion, together with information that authors would normally not see (alt text, table summaries, tooltips, etc.).

Previewing content in this way encourages authors to make sure content is as accessible as possible before it is published. For example, authors sometimes forget to identify which cells in a data table act as row or column headers. Without this information, screen readers have no references for data in the table. Alternatively, authors might need to improve captions and summaries submitted for tables, or alt texts submitted for images.

Code entered manually through View Source

XStandard uses semantically-rich tags, but when users manually enter content through "View Source" mode, the Screen Reader Preview warns against using semantically questionable markup. Alert messages might look like this:

  1. This document contains an <b> tag. It is better to use <strong>.

This alert message steers users away from <b> (bold), which has visual significance for sighted readers but carries no semantic significance to users of assistive technologies such as screen readers. Instead, XStandard encourages the use of <strong> which does have semantic meaning for screen readers.

Other alert messages generated when content is entered manually through View Source include:

  1. The alt text for this image is missing.
  2. The summary text for this table is missing.

These alert messages indicate missing information that is essential for understanding images and tables, and which must be entered into XStandard before content can be saved.


XStandard renders tables more accessible by requiring table Summaries and by distinguishing between tables used for layout and tables used for data. In the editor below, select the Screen Reader Preview to see how the contents of the (upper) layout table would be read in linear fashion by screen readers. Contrast this with the contents of the (lower) data table, which would be read in relation to the table's column and row headers.


XStandard's Screen Reader Preview is written in XSLT and can be customized or completely replaced by a specialized version. For instance, XStandard ships with warnings that appear when ambiguous expressions such as click here are used for hyperlinks. The XSLT can be customized to modify such expressions or to add new ones.

If you do not see the editor here, there are three possible reasons. (1) You have not yet installed XStandard to your computer. Before proceeding, please download and install XStandard. (2) You need to quit and restart your Web browser. (3) You have not enabled 'add-ons' (plug-ins) to run in your browser. Any questions? Please contact us at