Christian Heilmann

Creating Accessible Popups

Sunday, July 24th, 2005 at 2:39 pm

As some might know, I am currently writing a chapter for “Constructing Accessible Web Sites” by Apress / Friends of Ed.

As an example, I am writing a script to allow for “accessible” pop-up windows. I had an idea I hadn’t seen yet before and wondered if I should pursue with it.

Here’s the deal:

  • We cannot assume that the user agent allows for popup windows
  • When we only use HTML and the target attribute, we can open a window, but cannot “style” it or close it with a button
  • When we have JavaScript enabled and we have a window.opener, we can assume that the window was opened and we can add window.close() links.

Therefore I considered using link relationships in conjunction with a script to make the whole process failsafe:


would be changed by the script to a link opening the new window and get a message attached that it does so.


would get a close.window() attached and the text changed to “close window”.

Any comments why that is a bad idea and what would be a better one?
Yes, I will point out that popups should be avoided.

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