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Available Platforms

WAVE is available as a Google Chrome toolbar. See the download link below for more information.

Note on Firefox Toolbar

WAVE was formerly available in Firefox, but it is no longer compatible with modern versions of Firefox

About the WAVE Tool

WAVE is a browser plugin that allows Web developers to view possible accessibility errors and tagged structure on individual pages.

Unlike reporting tools like Compliance Sheriff, WAVE allows a tester to see how a page is structured in a holistic fashion instead of identifying issues sequentially.

It is similar to the online WAVE Webpage Accessibility Evaluator, but allows a user to test password protected pages, preview pages or unposted .html files.

Example WAVE Icon Report

For example, in the screen capture below, the WAVE toolbar found a number of issues with an HTML form, including:

  • A form with several input fields missing the LABEL tag (indicated with a red no-label icon)
  • An empty <h2> tag (indicated with a blue H2 icon plus a red warning icon).
  • The blue table icon also indicates the form is enclosed in a layout table

To understand what each icon in the report means, click on it to view its icon label and see a link to detailed documentation.

The WAVE Web site contains a comprehensive list of the accessibility icons, No with descriptions and explanations of each.

No Styles

Another important option on WAVE us the ability to view a Web page with styles turned off. This allows a tester to see the underlying order of a page and ensure that it is comprehensible on a screen reader or other device without CSS style support. In Google Chrome, the No Styles tab can be found in the left menu that opens for the WAVE report.

Additional Functions

See the documentation for each WAVE Tool to learn more about the functions of the tool.

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