1.4.5 / 1.4.9 Image of Text and <text> inside SVGs #773
Ongoing discussion (today) about whether or not text inside SVGs passes "Images of Text".
The normative wording only defines "images of text" as https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/#dfn-images-of-text
Generally, this is understood to mean text that's been presented as part of a bitmap or something. SVG can contain text as actual
However, once you dig into the rationale for/the intent of the SC, it becomes clear that the idea is that text (rather than images of text) can also be adapted more easily to users' needs
This is currently not the case for SVG text...changing any preferred font size/typeface/etc settings in the browser has no effect on text inside SVGs. No current user agent provides the ability to change these by default. So...unless a site that uses SVG text also provides custom mechanisms/controls (to satisfy the "Customizable: The image of text can be visually customized to the user's requirements"), I feel this is actually a fail.
I'll hazard a guess that this was not even an issue at the time WCAG 2.0 came out / wasn't really considered then. However, it would now be good to provide some guidance, and to perhaps expand the normative definition of "images of text" accordingly.
What's everybody else's take?
My simple yardstick (which hadn't previously been challenged by the scenario SteveG talked about) was generally: Is it bitmap or not?
SVG stays crisp when zoomed, but UAs don't provide the same controls as HTML based text, so I see the point about it not meeting all of the intent of images-of-text.
I haven't done much experimentation with complex SVGs, but my understanding is that:
The first issue I'd put to user-agents, the second is more tied to the purpose & capabilities of SVG.
Overall, it would be useful to add some nuance for what is basically vector text used in different ways than HTML text without accessibility-support for adaptation.
E.g. SVG is considered an image. If the size, position & color must be relative to its surroundings (e.g. graphs/infographics) then it does meet the "to achieve a particular visual effect" aspect. If not, then it fails 1.4.5.