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The WCAG1 and WCAG2 accessibility standards both specify guidelines for checking the contrast between the foreground and background colours of text. Total Validator can carry out the appropriate contrast testing, but only when configured correctly, and with the limitations shared by all automated testing tools.

Due to our advanced HTML validation we can check the contrast of text in more scenarios than other accessibility validators, such as with the <input> element's latest type values in HTML5.

Because we use the formulas given in the official guidelines, we only check displayable text and not text within images. The formulas also do not account for text with background images, gradients, text shadows, or transparency. So if your pages have any of these you may have to carry out some manual testing.



For Total Validator to perform contrast testing you must be using one of our browser extensions. You can use the DOM Validation option in the application, or manually select the Send DOM option in the browser extension.

If you are testing from the command line, then contrast tests will not be performed.

When a contrast issue is found it will be marked on the results page in the usual way. To prevent unnecessary duplication, issues are only raised against the element that contains the text, rather than for each block of text. So, for a given element, if there are multiple blocks of text, or text within child elements with the same contrast information, only one issue will be raised to simplify fixing.