Frames must have a unique title attribute

Screen reader users rely on a frame title to describe the contents of the frame. Navigating through frames and iframes can quickly become difficult and confusing for users of this technology if the frames are not marked with a title attribute.

Screen reader users have the option to pull up a list of titles for all frames on a page. Adding descriptive, unique titles allows users to quickly find the frame they need. If no titles are present, navigating through frames can quickly become difficult and confusing. If no title is listed, screen readers will instead give information like “frame,” “javascript,” the filename, or the URL. In most cases, this information won’t be very helpful.

Fixing the problem

Ensure all frame and iframe elements have titles that are not repeated.

You can add a title attribute to a frame element as follows:

<iframe ... title="myFrame"> frame body </iframe>

Additionally, best practice is to give the enclosed document a title element with content identical to the title attribute. Some screen readers will replace the contents of the title attribute on the frame with the contents of the title element inside the frame. As a result, it’s safest and most accessible to have the same text in both locations.

A good title is brief, clear, informative, and unique. Ensure that the document's title contains short, descriptive text summarizing the page's contents. To pass this rule, it’s not sufficient to simply have a title element; the element must also contain meaningful text.

Best practices when writing frame titles

  • Replace placeholder titles such as “untitled page” with a more appropriate phrase
  • Make each title unique - don’t duplicate titles across pages, even if they are similar.
  • Put all unique information first. If you want to include the company’s name or brand in the title, this information should go after the unique content. Otherwise, users of screen readers will have to listen to this information over and over as they search for the page that interests them.
  • Make the page title match the top heading (ideally labelled as h1) on your page. These don’t need to be identical, but it often makes sense to make them very similar, since the title and h1 elements serve essentially the same purpose.