metadata: need User Interface for SVG accessibility features

Bug #170340 reported by Mental-users on 2004-07-18
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

1) provide UI for using <title> and <desc> elements, 2)
provide UI for exploiting xml:lang, and 3) maybe some
kind of "accessibility check" command

see also

Peepo (peepo) wrote :

A wiki "What makes Inkscape the ideal tool for creating
accessible SVG?" is here:

Horkana-users (horkana-users) wrote :

bumping priority

exactly this kind of additional information was dicussed in
the context of providing more detailed metadata, but the
importance of it in terms of accessibility wasn't mentioned

Peepo (peepo) wrote :

my apologies, much of the information linked below is
currently offline. let me know if it might be helpful. is a GUI
schema (2004), though W3C has since developed
something similar.
This could be useful accessibility metadata to author.

Chaals, Schepers, and possibly me will be developing
new guidelines in the coming months.

a related project is: 1081266

NB on human computation

1) The Object Properties dialog has title and description fields, but they seem to be grayed out by default (<URL:>, but I'm not familiar enough with GTK to tell for sure).

2) Support for xml:lang is mentioned in a todo comment here <URL:>.

3) An automated accessibility test could ascertain that the relevant attributes are used, but can't really determine if their use actually improves accessibility (e.g. title="[foo]").

Will working on this really make Inkscape-made documents more accessible? For instance, it's common practice to change text to paths when sharing an SVG. In this case, and many others, common practice goes against accessibility concerns.

Changed in inkscape:
status: New → Incomplete
Tom Davidson (tjd-mit) wrote :

Ping: rescuing this bug from expiration because the original report seemed pretty contentful and important... Anyone want to weigh in in the next 60 days to say that it is still desirable?

ScislaC (scislac) on 2008-10-23
Changed in inkscape:
importance: High → Medium
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
jazzynico (jazzynico) on 2010-10-24
tags: added: metadata
tags: added: svg
removed: svg-xml
description: updated
Pablo Trabajos (pajarico) wrote :

Correct me if I'm wrong but the <title> attribute can be now edited in the Save dialog. That's the title of the doc.

There is also a title on the "Object Propierties" dialog (right click on an object).

~suv (suv-lp) wrote :

Pablo wrote
> the <title> attribute can be now edited in the Save dialog

That's a special feature of the native win32 dialogs in Inkscape, but not available on other platforms using the default GTK+ dialogs.

Amelia Bellamy-Royds (ameliabr) wrote :

Bumping this!

Title and Desciption

Inkscape now has good support (through object properties dialog) for <title> and <desc>.

You can also set a document <title> in Document properties > Metadata, although its harder to find. For full SVG compliance, Inkscape should prompt the user to enter a document title on save -- and not just for certain OSes! The SVG 1.1 specs say "Authors should always provide a ‘title’ child element to the outermost svg element within a stand-alone SVG document."

Language declarations

I have not found any support for setting xml:lang, although the CSS code (cr-sel-eng.c) uses existing xml:lang attributes in order to match the :lang() pseudoclass selector.

Benefits of having xml:lang support:
- accessibility (for screen readers and translation tools)

- correct text rendering (would need to coordinate with underlying text layout libraries, but for some scripts you need to specify the language to get the correct rendering of a given string of Unicode characters)

- potential to have added language-based features such as spell-checking. Someone already has a TODO in text-edit.cpp -- if there is an easy way to assign a language to a text node, gtkspell can be used for spell checking.

I think that at the very least it should be straightforward to set a single xml:lang attribute on the document. There is a "Language" field in the document Metadata properties but it only sets the RDF data, not xml:lang. It's also open-ended (RDF/DC encourages the use of language codes, but does not require it). Ideally:

- the language metadata should create an xml:lang attribute on the root <svg>
- there should be some sort of restriction to ensure that the value is a correct language code -- e.g., using a drop-down list instead of a text field
- the language value should default to the user's preferred UI language, although maybe user preferences could set a different value (in case Inkscape isn't available in the user's primary language)
- the user should be prompted to correct the value when saving, at the same time as being prompted for a title

For better support of multi-lingual documents, you would need a way to set xml:lang on individual elements.

I've written up a broader discussion of language issues on the Wiki:

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