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The Basics Of Web Accessibility
By Matthew Drouin - 2003-10-28 Page:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Turning Off Cascading Style Sheets

Most sites use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for at minimum fonts. There are many other things that CSS can be used for from layout to background colors and even more. Text browsers will not understand CSS though so what we will want to do is disable CSS and make sure we can still understand what the web page is trying to tell us.

The best way to test if your site is readable without style sheets is to use Bobby to test it. The reason for this is that most browsers do not have a way of turning off style sheets and to remove all style sheet information from a page might be difficult. The other upside to testing using Bobby is that it will give you other information ways to make your site better.

What you should expect is for your page to look completely different especially if you use a lot of CSS. If you take a look at the web site though Bobby you will notice it looks completely different. What you want to get from this is if the page is still readable. The current version of has all the navigation elements first then below that the listing of the latest articles. It is not very pretty at all but it is very readable and people can still understand what is going on.

Grinding Gears uses CSS for the majority of the layout on the site. This means we do not use tables and spacer images like some other sites do. If your site uses tables then it is very possible that your page will look very similar to the actual page when doing a test with Bobby. You should take note though that tables were not meant for layout and the use of tables might make it harder for page readers to read the page to the user correctly. So please make sure to check your site with a page reader and also take extra special care with spacer images that the alt tags are set to a space in between quotes so that users know the image is not important to them.

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Copyright 2003-2004 Matthew Drouin. All rights reserved.

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