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Web headings

Text can be styled to look like a heading but that formatting can’t be detected by screen readers used by individuals with print disabilities.  Screen readers can announce headings if they are created through the use of HTML codes (<h1> for heading 1, <h2> for heading 2s).

In addition, to meet accessibility standards, headings should have a meaningful hierarchy.  Thus, they should be used sequentially – similar to outlines.

  • Heading level 1 <h1></h1>
    • Heading level 2 <h2></h2>
      • Heading level 3 <h3></h3>
      • Heading level 3 <h3></h3>
    • Heading level 2 <h2></h2>
      • Heading level 3 <h3></h3>
        • Heading level 4 <h4></h4>
        • Heading level 4 <h4></h4>
      • Heading level 3 <h3></h3>
    • Heading level 2 <h2></h2>

Cascade

Cascade templates provide an automatic heading 1 <h1></h1> as the page title and an automatic heading 2 <h2></h2> as the footer. Create additional headings by typing the desired text, selecting that text and using the Format dropdown to select and apply the appropriate heading.

the format dropdown contains the redefined heading selections

Simple testing

There are multiple ways to test heading structure.  These steps work in any browser.

  • Open the W3C HTML Validator (http://validator.w3.org/)
  • Type the desired URL in the Address field.
  • Select the More options link and then the Show Outline checkbox (see image below).
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