Skip to Content

ANDI Guide

This page describes the features and functionality of ANDI, the Accessible Name & Description Inspector accessibility test tool.

Launching ANDI

Navigate to the page to be tested. Launch ANDI by clicking on the favorite/bookmark labelled "ANDI". Get Installation Instructions

ANDI will be inserted onto the page. ANDI being used on a webpage, highlighting all interactive elements, presenting results

Element Highlights

After ANDI has finished scanning the page, all focusable/interactive elements will be given visual highlights. Visually impaired users can find similar information that the highlights indicate in the ANDI Output section.

Focusable Elements:

Textbox with orange outline - focusable element without danger alert Focusable elements will be highlighted with an orange dashed outline (1 pixel thickness) signifying that some accessibility markup was found for the element. A tester should inspect these elements to determine if the Output is appropriate for its function and comparable to the on-screen text on the test page.

Focusable Elements with Danger Alert: danger icon

Textbox with red outline - danger alert If ANDI has found a high priority level Accessibility Alert associated with an element, the element will be highlighted with a red, dashed outline (3 pixel thickness).

The Active Element:

Textbox with purple outline - active element As a user navigates the test page ANDI will inspect the element that has focus or is hovered over with the mouse (mouseover). The element being inspected is called the "Active Element" and will be highlighted with a purple solid outline (4 pixel thickness). The Active Element's accessibility markup will be displayed in the Accessibility Components section and its text alternative computation (what a screen reader would say) will appear in the Output section.

Active Element Inspection

This section allows a user to see accessibility information for the Active Element.

As the elements on the page are focused on or hovered over, this section will be updated. To prevent this section from updating on mouse hover, hold the shift key (Hover Lock).

Active Element Inspection section

This section displays the Element Tag Name, Accessibility Components, Output, and any Alerts associated with the Active Element.

Element Name / Role

ANDI displays the HTML tag and ARIA role of the Active Element.

Element: <input type="text">

This item also functions as a link which, when followed, will shift the focus to the element's location on the page. Hovering over this item will draw a "laser" which points to the location of the element on the test page.

Accessibility Components Table

As ANDI scans the test page, it searches for HTML tags and attributes that influence the accessibility of the elements on the page. These tags and attributes are referred to as Accessibility Components and are presented in a table.

Accessibility Components Table, 3 components displayed

Examples of components ANDI scans for are:

aria-label, aria-labelledby, aria-describedby, alt, <caption>, <figcaption>, <label>, <legend>, title, innerText

For more details about Accessibility Components, see the Developer Guide.

ANDI Output

ANDI's Output displays the accessible name and accessible description that a screen reader should read audibly for the Active Element plus phrasings depending on the presence of Add-On Properties plus any associating Accessibility Alerts.

ANDI Output with example output text

The calculation is based primarily on W3C specifications, and where specifications are unsupported or vague, it is based on thorough analysis of modern screen reader behavior.

Alerts in the Output

Alerts appearing in the Output will link to a help page with information about the Alert.

Difference Between Screen Reader Output

Users can expect that ANDI's accessible name and description Output is accurate and should be voiced by screen readers that follow standards.

Screen readers will often add additional verbiage on certain elements such as "button" for buttons and "graphic" for images. ANDI does not incorporate these phrasings and only outputs the text values of the components. For example, if the word "button" is in the accessible name or description of a button, a screen reader will most likely say "button" twice, ANDI would not.

For additional information on screen reader output and other differences or discrepancies, see the product vendor's documentation.

Page Analysis

After ANDI has analyzed the page, it will present results in the Page Analysis section.

Page Analysis section

Appearing in this section are the Total Elements Found, Previous/Next Element Buttons, Additional Page Details, and The Accessibility Alerts List.

Total Elements Found

ANDI will display the total number of elements found on the page.

Previous/Next Element Buttons

previous button

When pressed, focus will shift to the highlighted element which precedes or follows the active element based on the page's HTML structure; essentially the "previous" or "next" element that ANDI has analyzed.

Additional Page Details

Depending on the module launched, there may be additional results displayed in this section. For example: accesskeys, table list, links list, graphics details.

For more information refer to each module's documentation.

Accessibility Alerts

When ANDI is launched, every HTML element is analyzed for conditions that commonly cause accessibility issues. When such a condition is found, ANDI generates an Alert which helps a user pinpoint potential accessibility issues.

Accessibility Alerts with example of alerts

Alerts are contained in the Accessibility Alerts list. The alerts are categorized into three Alert Levels which indicate the likelihood that an accessibility defect is present:

  • Danger (red, X icon) - almost certain likelihood of a defect
  • Warning (orange, ! icon) - likelihood of a defect or inconsistent behavior with screen readers
  • Caution (yellow, ? icon) - needs further investigation

Alerts in the list are organized into groupings. Expanding a group reveals alert messages specific to elements on the page. The messages are links that when followed will place focus on the element to which the alert associates.

Alerts associating with the Active Element will appear in the Output. Alerts appearing in the output are links which point to an Alerts Help page which provides details about the specific Alert.

Module Selection Menu

When ANDI is first launched, the it scans for focusable/interactive elements. To test other areas of accessibility, ANDI features the ability to launch specialized "modules".

ANDI Module Launch Buttons: focusable elements, graphics/images, links, tables, structures, color contrast, hidden content

See the Modules Help page for more information about each module.

Controls / Settings Buttons

Controls and Settings buttons are found in the in the upper right corner of ANDI's display.

Controls Settings Buttons

The buttons are as follows: Relaunch, Element Highlights, Minimode, Help, and Close.


relaunch button

keyboard with alt and equal sign highlighted - refresh ANDI To run ANDI consecutively on a test page, press the refresh button. Alternatively, alt+= or pressing the browser's favorite/bookmark button labeled "ANDI" will relaunch ANDI.

When ANDI is refreshed it will first remove the ANDI Bar from from the page along with markup it added to the test page and restart afresh. There should be no need to refresh the test page and then refresh ANDI.

Element Highlights Button

Element Highlights button - on Element Highlights button - off

This control will allow a user to hide or show the Element Highlights (outlines) on the test page.

All functions of ANDI remain with the highlights turned off; this control is strictly cosmetic.

An ANDI user who is visually impaired can find similar information that the highlights indicate in the ANDI Output section.

MiniMode Button

MiniMode button - engaged MiniMode button - disengaged

This setting allows a user to see a condensed view of ANDI so that more of the test page is visible.

When MiniMode is ON, ANDI's display will appear as follows:
  1. The Accessible Components Table and Page Analysis section (All Alerts) will be hidden.
  2. The Element Name/Role, Output (including alerts associating with that element), and Settings/Controls Buttons, Next and Previous Element buttons, and Module Selection Menu will remain visible.
ANDI with Minimode Engaged

Hotkeys List Button

hotkeys list button - on hotkeys list button - off

Pressing the Hotkeys List button will cause a list of ANDI's hotkeys to appear for quick reference.

ANDI hotkey list

Help Button

help button

Pressing the Help button opens up ANDI Help (the site you are reading now) in a new window.

If this button is pressed when a module other than "focusable elements" has been selected, it will open the Help for that module.

Close Button

close button

Pressing the Close Button will remove ANDI's display from the page along with all markup it added to the test page. Navigating away from the Test Page or hitting the browser's refresh button (F5) will also remove ANDI.

Version Popup

By clicking the "ANDI" heading text in the upper left of the ANDI Bar, a popup will be displayed containing the version number of ANDI and the module version number.


ANDI has a few built-in hotkeys (also known as shortcut keys) to aid a keyboard user in quick navigation.

Hotkey Cheatsheet
alt+= Relaunch keyboard with all hotkeys highlighted
alt+' Output Jump
alt+/ Active Element Jump
alt+period Next Element
alt+comma Previous Element
alt+` Section Jump

NOTE: Firefox browser uses shift+alt for hotkeys.

Refresh alt+=

keyboard with alt and equal sign highlighted - refresh ANDI To run ANDI consecutively on a test page, simply press the hotkey (alt & equal sign). Alternativly, pressing the browser's favorite/bookmark button labeled "ANDI" can relaunch ANDI.

When ANDI is refreshed it will first remove the ANDI Bar from the page along with all markup it added to the test page and restart afresh. In other words, there is no need to refresh the test page and then relaunch ANDI.

This Relaunch hotkey has the same function as the Relaunch Button.

Output Jump alt+'

keyboard with alt and apostrophe highlighted - output jump This hotkey (alt & apostrophe) will shift the focus to the ANDI Output. If a screen reader is being used, it would then read the text of the Output. For a visually impaired user, this is very useful when paired with the Active Element Jump hotkey.

Active Element Jump alt+/

keyboard with alt and slash highlighted - active element jump When this hotkey (alt & forward slash) is pressed the focus will shift to the Active Element on the test page. For a visually impaired user, this is very useful when paired with the Output Jump hotkey.

Next Element alt+period

keyboard with alt and period highlighted - next element When pressed, focus will shift to the highlighted element which follows the active element based on the page's HTML structure; essentially the "next" element.

Previous Element alt+comma

keyboard with alt and comma highlighted - previous element When pressed, focus will shift to the highlighted element which precedes the active element based on the page's HTML structure; essentially the "previous" element.

Section Jump alt+`

keyboard with alt and grave highlighted - section jump Repeatedly hitting this hotkey (alt & grave accent) will allow a user to jump between four sections in order:

  1. The section containing the Module Dropdown and Module Action Buttons (top)
  2. The Controls Settings Buttons (upper right)
  3. The Active Element Inspection Section (left)
  4. The Page Analysis Section (right)

NOTE: This feature may not be supported in all browsers.

Mouse Controls


ANDI has the capability to overlay the test page with a "laser" for the purpose of quickly pointing out the location of associated elements.

Tag Name Laser

When using the mouse to hover over the Element Name in the Active Element Display, a laser will appear on the test page which points at the location of the element that is being inspected in the Active Element Display.

Alert List Lasers

A laser appears when holding the shift key and using the mouse to hover over Alerts in the Alerts List.

Component Lasers

Hovering over the aria-labelledby, aria-describedby, or <label> component text in the Accessibility Components Table will draw a laser which points to the associated element from where the text was retrieved.

Additional Notes:

The lasers will not persist on the screen. i.e. the moment a link is clicked or the mouse moves off the link, it will disappear. It is possible to take a screen shot while the laser is on screen during mouse hover by hitting the keyboard's Print Screen key.

Since ANDI's lasers are built using SVG (scalable vector graphics) ANDI's lasers will not work in versions of Internet Explorer prior to 9 (including compatibility modes).

Hover Lock

keyboard with shift highlighted When using the mouse to hover over elements on the test page, holding down the shift key will "lock" the Active Element display. While holding down the shift key, if the mouse cursor passes over other elements, the Active Element Display will not change (by design). Releasing the shift key will allow the user to change the Active Element being inspected, as normal.

Concurrent Use

With Screen Readers

ANDI is fully accessible and can be used concurrently with a screen reader.

With Developer Tools

ANDI can be used concurrently with an inspection tool such as a browser's Developer Tools. Artifacts from ANDI such as custom data-ANDI508-* attributes and ANDI508-* CSS classes will appear on elements in the test page but should not affect test page functionality.


Dynamic Content

If an area on the Test Page changes dynamically (e.g. clicking on something opens up a submenu or alters screen text), ANDI will not know that the page has changed. To test the updated content, simply refresh ANDI and inspect the newly displayed area.

The Active Element will be retained on refresh, and the components, output, and alerts, will be updated. This provides a way to test dynamically changing properties such as the current state of a table column sorter or an expand/collapse controller.


When ANDI detects frames or iframes on the page, it offers the ability to test the frames and iframes independently in a new window.

Recursion / Child Elements

In order to provide the text alternative (Output) for a given element, the Text Alternative Computation specification sometimes requires recursive traversal of an element's tree node. Currently, ANDI has limited recursion (to optimize performance) and therefore may not fully represent the full text alternative taking into account all of a node's children. However, most web pages use basic, "one tier" level accessibility markup and such recursion is not needed. Future releases of ANDI may increase the depth of recursive subtree parsing.

Manipulation of the Test Page DOM

ANDI minimizes the manipulation of the test page DOM, however certain alterations must be made. To some elements ANDI may add data-* attributes and some CSS classes. These attributes and classes include the string "ANDI508". To elements that have css fixed positions, ANDI will adjust the top or bottom distance to ensure that the elements are not blocking view of the ANDI Bar. When the Close button is pressed, ANDI be removed from the page along with all modifications to the elements it touched.

Testing ANDI With ANDI

ANDI cannot be used to test ANDI since it fully removes itself before launch. Nice try though. To test ANDI for accessibility, users will have to revert to archaic methods such as directly looking at the code or listening to a screen reader yap about.