epub:type attribute can enhance the user experience in EPUB reading systems but
does not improve the accessibility in assistive technologies.
- Identify footnotes and endnotes using the
No other uses of
epub:type are known to provide user enhancements at this time.
The enabling of specialized behaviors, such as the opening of footnotes, requires that content be properly identified for reading systems.
epub:type attribute can be attached to any element in the body of a document to add
additional semantics. It accepts any of the terms defined in the EPUB Structural Semantics Vocabulary, but the attribute
has limited adoption outside of pop-up footnotes.
Note that only certain semantics make sense to use on any given tag. Marking an
element as a footnote is appropriate, for example, but marking a
section as a footnote
not as much. The Structural Semantics
Vocabulary lists the common element(s) each semantic is intended to be used in conjunction
with to facilitate this process (although exceptions to the rule may arise).
Comparison to ARIA roles
epub:type attribute only facilitates user agent behaviors like pop-up notes. It was
hoped it would bridge the need for publisher workflow semantics with accessibility, but did not
succeed. It does not improve the accessibility of publications on its own.
The attribute may still be useful for internal workflows as a means of generating ARIA roles, but in these cases the requirements of the ARIA specification
must be closely followed. The use of roles is much more restrictive than
It is also possible to use both the
where both accessibility and enhanced user agent behaviors overlap.
Refer to the EPUB Type to ARIA Role
Authoring Guide for a list of bad practices to avoid when switching from the
to the ARIA
- EPUB 3 — The