Test Case sc1.3.1_l1_118: em element used for presentational effect

Formal Metadata

Formal Metadata
Titleem element used for presentational effect
DescriptionDocument containing an em element that marks up all the content of a paragraph instead of only the part that needs to be emphasized.
CreatorBenToWeb (evlach@…)
RightsCopyright BenToWeb 2005-2007
Statusaccepted QA

Technologies and Features

Technologies are markup languages or data formats. If the technology is a markup language, “features” refers to elements and attributes.

XHTML™ 1.0 The Extensible HyperText Markup Language (Second Edition)

XHTML™ 1.0 The Extensible HyperText Markup Language (Second Edition)

Feature: em (namespace: http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml) .

Technical specification: Phrase elements .

Test Data


The test case is intended to fail because the em element is used for a presentation effect instead of (semantic) emphasis.

Expert Guidance

Check whether semantic markup is used correctly.

Test Modes

Three or more accessibility experts.

Test Files

Test file.


sc1.3.1_l1_118 (XML).


“Rules” refer to success criteria in WCAG 2.0, checkpoints in WCAG 1.0 and similar requirements.

Primary Rules

The test case fails the following success criterion at line 8, column 59: http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-WCAG20-20060427/guidelines.html#content-structure-separation-programmatic.

Functional Outcome

The complete paragraph is emphasized instead of only content that needs emphasis.

Technical Comment

This test case maps to failure F43: Failure of SC 1.3.1 due to using structural markup in a way that does not represent relationships in the content (http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-WCAG20-TECHS-20060427/Overview.html#F43).