Read Me Page Accessibility, HTML, CSS, Broken Links, Spell Checking

Documentation > Browser extensions

Start the Total Validator application and set the required options in the usual way (ignoring the Start page). Browse to the page you wish to test and click the Total Validator icon on your browser toolbar, or use a keyboard shortcut, to start testing the current page.

picture of the chrome toolbar

Alternatively select the appropriate option from the context menu (right click the page):

picture of the chrome context menu

Depending on which option you've chosen the extension will either send the URL of the current page, the DOM, or the source of the page to the Total Validator application to test it. With the Pro and CI versions you can test a whole website this way with just one click.

During operation the application will automatically minimise or shrink to the System Tray.

picture of Total Validator in the system tray

If you wish to start Total Validator already minimised, such as when starting your computer, then use the Start Minimised menu option.

Extension options

To access and set the extension options use the context menu, or right mouse click the toolbar icon and choose 'Options'.

Toolbar action: What to send to the application when you click the toolbar icon.

Send URL: This sends the url of the current page to the application for testing. This is equivalent to entering the url in the Start page in the application.

Send DOM: Normally Total Validator tests the web page before any JavaScript has been run. If you use JavaScript to modify the page, then select this to send the page after any initial JavaScript has run. Selecting this option also allows additional testing to be performed, such as contrast testing. The source in this case is not the original web page but is generated from your browser's DOM, so you may see some issues that do not exist in the original web page, and line numbers will often differ. Note: With this option broken links can only be tested for if you have the Pro or CI versions.

Send source: If 'Send URL' does not work for you (for example, some unsupported authentication system is protecting pages), then use this option to send the source of the current web page for testing instead. Note: With this option broken links can only be tested for if you have the Pro or CI versions.

Listen port: This is set to 9889 by default. It is the 'TCP port' that the Total Validator application listens to for requests from the browser extension to test pages. Whatever you enter here must match the value you've entered in the application. Any number in the range 1-65535 is valid, but you must choose one that does not conflict with any other service you having running.

Skip URL check: Normally this is not selected. It should only be used when there are cancellation issues.

Debug: Normally this should not be selected. It should only be used when advised by the Total Validator Support Team because it will slow down the test process.

Testing multiple source pages with Total Validator Pro or CI

With the Pro and CI versions, 'Send DOM' and 'Send source' will automatically step through the website just like 'Send URL', and test as many pages as you wish.

You will see each page being displayed in your browser in turn and on completion the original page will be displayed, and a new tab opened with the results.

When testing this way, you should try to avoid using your browser and never attempt to start a new test while a current one is still executing. Always use the Cancel button on the application's progress window to cancel first, otherwise you may get unexpected and confusing results.

When testing DOM-generated source, you may need to slow the process down so that any initial JavaScript has fully run before the page is sent to the application. For this, use the Page pause option which will add a delay between loading each page and sending the DOM to the application.

Keyboard shortcuts

By default the keyboard shortcut equivalent to clicking the toolbar icon is Ctrl+Shift+V (Command+Shift+V for macOS). You can use a different keyboard shortcut, remove it altogether, and also define shortcuts for the context menu options as follows:

Firefox: Go to about:addons, click on the cog icon and select 'Manage Extension Shortcuts', and edit or remove the shortcuts displayed for Total Validator.

Chrome: Go to chrome://extensions/shortcuts, and edit or remove the shortcuts displayed.

Edge: Go to edge://extensions/shortcuts, and edit or remove the shortcuts displayed.


If you have a problem that isn't covered below then complete the Contact Form to report it. Don't forget to leave a valid email address where you can be contacted.

Total Validator icon is blank or missing

Firefox users upgrading from v5.1 please note that a recent change to Firefox may cause the TV icon to disappear from your toolbar or the Context Menu. If this happens then remove the Total Validator add-on, restart your browser, and add it back again.

Could not contact the Total Validator application

If this appears you may have simply forgotten to start the Total Validator application. This must be running when using an extension.

Alternatively, the firewall on your computer may have been configured to block Total Validator from accepting connections from extensions: When starting Total Validator, you may have seen a message about allowing incoming connections to either Total Validator or Java and decided to deny these. In this case you will have to amend your firewall to allow them again.

Total Validator only listens for local connections from your browser, and only on a specific 'port'. This 'Listen port' may already be being used by another service preventing the application from listening. Usually you will see a message when starting the application if this is the case. If necessary, you can change the 'Listen port' in the Options of the application and update the options page in the extension to match, as described above.

Browser needs to be manually started

When starting a DOM validation from the Total Validator application, we have found that on some systems and with some browsers, the browser must already be running first. So please try again with the browser already open.

Testing failed

If this message appears then there may be a conflict between Total Validator and some other service. You can change the 'Listen port' in the Options of the application and update the options page in the extension to match, as described above.

Could not retrieve source of page

If this appears then the page you are trying to test has unexpectedly disappeared from the web server, or is no longer visible due to authentication issues. Try reloading the page and repeating the test.

Could not contact the content script

If this appears after you have just installed or enabled the extension, you may need to reload pages in your browser before you can test them.

Note: If you wish to use any Chrome or Edge extension with pages beginning with file:, you must tell the browser that it is okay to do so:

Nothing happens

Firefox: Open the browser console (Ctrl-Shift-J) and look for any of the messages above, or other messages mentioning Total Validator which may explain the issue.

Chrome: Go to chrome://extensions, check the 'Developer Mode' checkbox, find the Total Validator extension and click the 'Inspect views: background page' link, then look at the 'Console' tab for any error messages.

Edge: Go to edge://extensions, check the 'Developer Mode' checkbox, find the Total Validator extension and click the 'Inspect views: background page' link, then look at the 'Console' tab for any error messages.

Multi-page testing cancels before finishing

When testing multiple pages of source or DOM-generated source, it may self-cancel before completing. This can be due to security restrictions of the website. The last page attempted should still be displayed in your browser: Press F12 and look at the 'Console' tab for any error messages which may explain why it failed. If there is nothing suspicious then you could try the 'Skip URL check' option.

Browser continues multi-page testing after cancelling it, or after an error

Following a cancellation or an error the browser may keep on testing, possibly opening multiple tabs. Immediately close your browser and/or Total Validator to stop this.

The keyboard shortcut doesn't work

If the keyboard shortcut doesn't work, then it may clash with another extension, or a shortcut defined by the browser itself. In this case try defining a different key combination as described above.