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axegrinder

Axegrinder

Axegrinder is a command-line tool for developers that crawls websites and runs aXe accessibility tests on every page it finds. Tests are run in a headless chromium instance—the real deal.

This tool is only meant to find and flag problematic pages. For detailed (and interactive) results, try one of the aXe browser plugins.

👉 Chrome 👉 Firefox

Installation

Axegrinder is a node.js package so you'll need node and npm installed. You can install the package globally and run it from the command line.

npm i axegrinder -g

Reference

Further explanations of all the options can be found below.

Usage: axegrinder [options] <url>
 
Crawls a website and reports accessibility issues for each page.
 
 
Options:
 
  -c, --csv <filepath>    path to CSV output file
  -i, --include [string]  include only URLs containing this string
  -e, --exclude [string]  exclude any URLs containing this string
  -t, --tags <string>     comma-separated list of rule tags (wcag2a,wcag2aa,section508,best-practice)
  -x, --xpaths            show xpaths in console results
  -h, --help              output usage information

Basic Usage

Point axegrinder at a URL and it will do its best to find and test as many pages as possible.

axegrinder https://nodejs.org

First, it will build a map of the site by crawling as much as it can. Once that's done, it will run through every page and execute a battery of accessibility tests in a headless browser.

Results logged to the terminal will either be a pass (in green), or contain a list of violations (in red). If aXe was unable to complete certain tests, those will be marked as "incomplete" (highlighted in yellow).

Options

-c, --csv

Of course, it's not super useful to get results in the command line. For a more permanent results set, use the --csv option.

axegrinder crawl https://nodejs.org --csv=path/to/output.csv

Axegrinder will log each violation or incomplete test, along with the URL of the page that caused it. If you abort the crawl early, your results up to that point will still be saved to the CSV file.

-t, --tags

Since axegrinder is a wrapper around aXe, you can use any of the aXe "tags" to specify which tests to run.

axegrinder crawl http://nodejs.org --tags=wcag2a,wcag2aa

Note that you can set multiple tags at once, as a comma-separated list. By default, axegrinder sets this option to wcag2aa (AA compliance).

The available options are listed below. The names are pretty self-explanatory, but you can check the aXe docs for specifics.

  • wcag2a
  • wcag2aa
  • section508
  • best-practice

-i, --include

Odds are pretty good that you don't want to test your entire site all at once. You can use the --include arg to only include pages that have a specific string in the URL.

# Only scan pages with "/en/about" in the URL 
axegrinder crawl https://nodejs.org --include=/en/about

This option can be used multiple times to specify several strings.

-e, --exclude

This works the opposite way that the "include" option works. Use --exclude to ignore pages that have a given string in their URL.

# Skip any pages with "/blog" in the URL 
axegrinder crawl https://nodejs.org --exclude=/blog

This option can be used multiple times to specify several strings.

-x, --xpaths

If you'd like to include the xpaths for nodes that triggered violations, you can do so with the --xpaths flag. Adding this flag causes lists of xpaths to show up in your results.

axegrinder crawl https://nodejs.org --xpaths

This can be useful for a quick idea of how many specific issues your pages have, but I very much advise against using it for any serious debugging. The official aXe browser extensions are specifically built for that purpose and do an infinitely better job.

-h, --help

Print out the handy-dandy help dialogue, as seen in the Reference section.

axegrinder --help