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    1.0.1 • Public • Published



    axe-live is a framework-agnostic tool for running accessibility checks against web applications. It uses Deque Labs' axe library to highlight and disable elements on the page which have accessibility problems. The goal is to provide something like compiler errors for accessibilty during the development cycle. This should help problems get addressed right away rather than waiting on a QA process or user reports.


    npm install axe-live


    yarn add axe-live


    When your app is running in development mode, start axe-live:

    import * as AxeLive from "axe-live";;

    By default, axe-live will watch for changes to your document and try to efficiently re-check when it updates.

    You can customize the behavior by passing an options object to run():

    import * as AxeLive from "axe-live";{
      // The node on the page that should be checked, defaults to document
      target: document.getElementById('#app'),
      // Whether or not to re-run Axe on DOM changes, defaults to true
      watch: true,
      // Whether or not to start with a minimal display, defaults to false
      minimized: false,
      // Axe configuration options, defaults to Axe defaults
      axeOptions: { runOnly: ['wcag2a', 'wcag2aa'] }

    The axe configuration options are passed directly to axe-core's options parameter.

    Important Notes

    Automated checks can ensure you've not made any basic mistakes, but are only part of a robust a11y solution. Many of the WCAG guidelines cannot be evaluated automatically, and require a human assesment. It's worthwhile to try your app out with a screenreader and think about the usability of the experience for impared users.

    The axe-core libarary is very large. You should configure your build to only bundle axe-live when running in development mode. Otherwise your users will pay an unnecesarily high cost in download times for your app.

    On DOM changes, the watcher is conservative in what it asks Axe to check. Specifically, it only checks changed elements and elements that were previously in error. This is to make checks faster, but it may result in a rare miss in the event of a change that renders a previously valid elment invalid. (e.g. a label disappears, making a previously correct input invalid)

    Because items in error are re-checked when the DOM changes, it's a good idea to fix any problems that affect large ancestor elements first. If your html or body elements have a problem, sort those out first so every change doesn't re-check your whole page.

    The error highlights are generated from selectors output by axe, wich are only as specific as they need to be. If you have axe-live running while a page is adding elements, you may see some highlights briefly appear and then disappear as new elements are added that match older selectors before axe runs again.

    Frequent DOM changes like JS-based animations that update style attributes could lead to checks that run too frequently. You may want to turn off automatic re-checking for fewer pauses in that situation.


    npm i axe-live

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    • matt.cheely