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For the HTML element - Do I need dashes/markers around the "any" option to satisfy accessibility? If no markers, does the text have to be a sentence ? What types of text is accessible?

For example instead of:

  1. Single markers (seem most common):
<select name="place">
  <option value="">- Any -</option>
  <option value="paris">Paris</option>
  <option value="london">Londo</option>
</select>
  1. Double markers (Mozilla docs uses it):
<select name="place">
  <option value="">-- Any --</option>
  <option value="paris">Paris</option>
  <option value="london">London</option>
</select>

No Marker but generic text.

<select name="place">
  <option value="">Any</option>
  <option value="paris">Paris</option>
  <option value="london">London</option>
</select>

No Marker - use descriptor.

<select name="place">
  <option value="">Place</option>
  <option value="paris">Paris</option>
  <option value="london">London</option>
</select>

No Marker - use descriptor with dashes/markers.

<select name="place">
  <option value="">- Place - </option>
  <option value="paris">Paris</option>
  <option value="london">London</option>
</select>

1 Answer 1

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There is nothing special about the "any" text. It's just another <option> value. Having a dash before/after the text will most likely not be read by a screen reader anyway since the default setting on screen readers is to not announce punctuation and special characters. A '-' may or may not be announced by default. The screen reader user can control how verbose the announcements are.

What is important is that your <select> have a label.

<label for="city">Select a city</label>
<select name="place" id="city">
  <option value="">- Any -</option>
  <option value="paris">Paris</option>
  <option value="london">Londo</option>
</select>

Don't rely on the value of the first <option> to be your label because once the user chooses a different value, you've essentially lost your "label".

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