Chapter 5

Understanding Validity and Accessibility

This page serves as the companion web page for Chapter 5 of Expression Web 4 Step by Step.

Today’s modern Web standards emphasize several key principals: validity, accessibility, cross-browser compatibility, and a clean separation of content and presentation. These principles pave the way for richer Web pages that are more easily indexed by search engines, more predictably rendered by browsers, more reliably rendered by alternative devices such as screen readers, and so on. You will be glad to know that Microsoft Expression Web 4 provides you with the tools you’ll need to build Web sites that adhere to modern Web standards and best practices. In fact, Microsoft Expression Web 4 actually makes development much easier than it once was.

After completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Understand and change a DOCTYPE
  • Verify and address W3C validity
  • Verify and address accessibility
  • Style text with cascading style sheets

Understanding and Changing a DOCTYPE

A DOCTYPE is a declaration at the very beginning of an HTML/XHTML file that tells the browser what kind of document it’s receiving. A valid DOCTYPE is the very first thing you need to make sure your page(s) will validate.

In this chapter segment you will learn how to work with the DOCTYPE

Code Snippet Library DOCTYPES in Expression Web 4

Verifying and Addressing W3C Validity

One of the functions of the W3C is to maintain a set of standards that define valid code. You can visit the W3C Web site at Expression Web 4 is predisposed to meet those standards by writing valid HTML/XHTML code as required by the DOCTYPE declaration in the page as you saw in the previous exercise. By ensuring that your page’s code complies with validity standards you will automatically make sure that it renders as consistently as possible in various browsers, and you’ll also make it more understandable for search engines and alternative browsers.

In this chapter segment you will repair some HTML errors using Expression Web's tools, and check out the Validator at

Compatibility Panel

Verifying and Addressing Accessibility

Accessibility relates to the way a page is structured, and how it will render in devices that are used by people who have vision problems or who need other special browser considerations.

Good HTML/XHTML practices such as using valid code, meaningful alt tags, avoiding reliance on JavaScript or Flash for key elements such as navigation, selecting font colors and sizes that will not present problems to differently abled individuals, and using meaningful descriptive text within object tags for videos, Flash, Silverlight, and so on, will prevent most accessibility problems.

In this chapter segment you will verify and address accessibility using the Expression Web 4 tools

Expression Web offers three options within the Accessibility Checker:
Accessibility Checker Expression Web 4

Styling Text with Cascading Style Sheets

Separation of content from presentation is a cornerstone of modern Web standards and practices. Expression Web 4 helps you with this separation by leaning strongly toward cascading style sheets for presentational tasks such as formatting text and creating visual elements for your layout.

In this chapter segment you will use CSS to style some text that was previously marked up improperly

<-- start deprecated code -->

For literally thousands of years, families have enjoyed the warmth, comfort and nutrition found in a bountiful bowl of homemade soup.  Every one of us has experienced the delight of stepping into a warm kitchen with the rich aromas filling the air.

We make these traditional old world favorites daily, with only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, and a genuine love of cooking.  I am proud to say that we prepare our soups one pot at a time, for one family at a time.  That is our standard of quality.

We offer a variety of soups and prepare a featured selection each week, which is available for delivery to home or office.  To complement your soup, locally baked bread and spring mix salad are also available.  Please view our featured soups of the week on our soups page, as well as our weekly desserts.

See, smell, and taste the difference…have homemade soups and desserts delivered fresh to your door, from our family to yours.

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Modify Style dialog Expression Web 4

Key Points

  • Using the correct DOCTYPE is necessary for building valid, accessible pages.
  • Expression Web 4 helps you maintain W3C validity standards.
  • Expression Web 4 helps you check and address accessibility issues.
  • Using cascading style sheets helps you style text with fewer markups, simplifies maintenance, and enhances accessibility for people using adaptive browsers.

You can easily make this a point to YOUR company OR hide it all together.