ARIA Role Categories

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When WAI ARIA 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation in March 2014, there were four categories for roles.

  1. Abstract Roles
  2. Widget Roles and Widget Containers
  3. Document Structure Roles
  4. Landmark Roles

When WAI ARIA 1.1 became a W3C Recommendation in 14 December 2017, some additional categories were introduced and the categories then became:

  1. Abstract Roles
  2. Widget Roles and Widget Containers
  3. Document Structure Roles
  4. Landmark Roles
  5. Live Region Roles
  6. Window Roles

ARIA 1.2 became a Working Draft in July 2018 and these categories have remained the same.

With the introduction of these new categories, some existing 1.0 roles were moved to a new category.

The charts below show all WAI ARIA roles including notes on when they changed category (c), or where newly introduced (n).

Abstract roles

Abstract roles are used for the ontology. Authors MUST NOT use abstract roles in content.

Abstract roles ARIA 1.0 ARIA 1.1 ARIA 1.2
command Yes Yes Yes
composite Yes Yes Yes
input Yes Yes Yes
landmark Yes Yes Yes
range Yes Yes Yes
roletype Yes Yes Yes
section Yes Yes Yes
sectionhead Yes Yes Yes
select Yes Yes Yes
structure Yes Yes Yes
widget Yes Yes Yes
Window Yes Yes Yes

Widget roles

The following roles act as standalone user interface widgets or as part of larger, composite widgets.

Widget role ARIA 1.0 ARIA 1.1 ARIA 1.2
button Widget Widget Widget
checkbox Widget Widget Widget
gridcell Widget Widget Widget
link Widget Widget Widget
menuitem Widget Widget Widget
menuitemcheckbox Widget Widget Widget
menuitemradio Widget Widget Widget
option Widget Widget Widget
progressbar Widget Widget Widget
radio Widget Widget Widget
scrollbar Widget Widget Widget
searchbox N/A Widget Widget
slider N/A Widget Widget
spinbutton N/A Widge Widget
switch N/A Widge Widget
tab Widget Widget Widget
tabpanel Widget Widget Widget
textbox Widget Widget Widget
treeitem Widget Widget Widget

Widget container roles

The following roles act as composite user interface widgets. These roles typically act as containers that manage other, contained widgets.

Widget container roles ARIA 1.0 ARIA 1.1 ARIA 1.2
combobox Widget Container Widget Container Widget Container
grid Widget Container Widget Container Widget Container
listbox Widget Container Widget Container Widget Container
menu Widget Container Widget Container Widget Container
menubar Widget Container Widget Container Widget Container
radiogroup Widget Container Widget Container Widget Container
tablist Widget Container Widget Container Widget Container
tree Widget Container Widget Container Widget Container
treegrid Widget Container Widget Container Widget Container

Document roles

The following roles describe structures that organize content in a page. Document structures are not usually interactive.

ARIA role ARIA 1.0 ARIA 1.1 ARIA 1.2
application Landmark Document Document
article Document Document Document
blockquote N/A N/A Document
caption N/A N/A Document
cell N/A Document Document
columnheader Document Document Document
definition Document Document Document
directory Document Document Document
document Document Document Document
feed N/A Document Document
figure N/A Document Document
group Document Document Document
heading Document Document Document
img Document Document Document
list Document Document Document
listitem Document Document Document
math Document Document Document
none N/A Document Document
note Document Document Document
paragraph N/A N/A Document
presentation Document Document Document
row Document Document Document
rowgroup Document Document Document
rowheader Document Document Document
separator Document Document Document
table N/A Document Document
term N/A Document Document
toolbar Document Document Document
tooltip Widget Document Document

Landmark roles

The following roles are regions of the page intended as navigational landmarks. All of these roles inherit from the landmark base type and all are imported from the Role Attribute [role-attribute].

ARIA role ARIA 1.0 ARIA 1.1 ARIA 1.2
banner Landmark Landmark Landmark
complementary Landmark Landmark Landmark
contentinfo Landmark Landmark Landmark
form Landmark Landmark Landmark
main Landmark Landmark Landmark
navigation Landmark Landmark Landmark
region Document Landmark Landmark
search Landmark Landmark Landmark

Live region roles

The following roles are live regions and may be modified by live region attributes.

Live region roles ARIA 1.0 ARIA 1.1 ARIA 1.2
alert Widget Live Region Live Region
log Widget Live Region Live Region
marquee Widget Live Region Live Region
status Widget Live Region Live Region
timer Widget Live Region Live Region

Window roles

The following roles act as windows within the browser or application.

Window roles ARIA 1.0 ARIA 1.1 ARIA 1.2
alertdialog Widget Window Window
dialog Widget Window Window

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