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Validate WCAG, Section 508, HTML, CSS, Links, and Spelling

Example form

Here is a simple form you can use to practice on:

Start the Total Validator Pro application and create a new workspace using 'File > New', then 'Save' this. Enter a 'Starting web page' of https://www.totalvalidator.com/help/examples.html, and set the 'Number of pages' to blank, so that all pages are validated. To see all the pages that are validated go to the 'Results' tab and set the 'Show on success' option.

If you now 'Validate', it will just validate this page, so we need to configure it to log in ...


Configure the Forms tab

The first step is always to view the source of the page and look for the <form> tag. For most browsers right click and choose the appropriate 'View source' option.

On our page we see: <form method="post" action="/validator/ExampleForm">, so set the 'Action URL' on the 'Forms' tab to /validator/ExampleForm. This must be exactly what appears in the action attribute, anything else and it will not work.

Next, we need to add 'Parameters' for all the fields that the user needs to complete. Here, we just have the 'User ID' and 'Password' fields, but in practice you may also have checkboxes or other input fields that need to be filled in for the form to work. Note that you do not have to add parameters for any hidden fields or the submit button as these will be automatically read and sent by Total Validator.

Always use the value of the name attribute and not the id attribute, so on the 'Forms' tab enter 'Parameters' for user with a value of The User ID, and pwd with a value of The Password.

If you now 'Validate', it will log into the form and validate the starting page, the logged-in page and the style sheet. But it is not validating any other pages, so we need to investigate further ...


Manually log into the form

You should always manually log into the form and look at the page that appears, as there are some important things to learn.

First, check the URL of the page displayed. If the URL refers to a completely different website to the form then by default Total Validator will ignore any links on it. If you're using SAML authentication then please see our dedicated SAML page for further help. If not, then you'll have to login manually and use a browser extension to start the validation.

In our case the website is the same, but it is still not validating other pages such as SubPage1.html or SubPage2.html, so we need to investigate further ...


Exclude any links that log you out

Use your browser's 'View source' option to inspect the source of the page, and you'll see a 'Sign Off' link. On your own site it may be 'Sign Out' or 'Log Off' or something similar.

Looking at this link. We see: <a href="LogOff">Sign Off</a>. When Total Validator tests this link it will be immediately logged off, so that's why it can't validate SubPage1.html or SubPage2.html, because it's being logged off before it gets to them.

To fix this, on the 'Include' tab we need to add an 'Exclude' path to ignore the 'Sign Off' link by entering the full path to the sign off link relative to the website root: /validator/LogOff.

If you now run Total Validator Pro you'll see everything is now validated (5 items).