Understanding Success Criterion 2.4.13: Focus Appearance (Enhanced)

Success Criterion 2.4.13 Focus Appearance (Enhanced) (Level AAA): When user interface components have keyboard focus, all of the following are true:


This understanding document is part of the draft WCAG 2.2 content. It may change or be removed before the final WCAG 2.2 is published.


The purpose of this Success Criterion is to ensure a keyboard focus indicator is highly visible. This criterion is closely related to Success Criterion 2.4.11 Focus Appearance (Minimum) and defines a higher level of visibility for the focus indicator.

In relation to Focus Visible (enhanced) this criterion:

The other aspects of the Success Criterion are the same as Focus Visible (Minimum).


The benefits of this Success Criterion are similar to Focus Appearance (Minimum).


The examples of this Success Criterion are similar to Focus Appearance (Minimum).


Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this Success Criterion. However, it is not necessary to use these particular techniques. For information on using other techniques, see Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria, particularly the "Other Techniques" section.

Sufficient Techniques

  1. G223: Using an author-supplied, highly visible focus indicator
  2. C40: Creating a two-color focus indicator to ensure sufficient contrast with all components
  3. C41: Creating a strong focus indicator within the component


The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of this Success Criterion by the WCAG Working Group.

Key Terms

css pixel

visual angle of about 0.0213 degrees

A CSS pixel is the canonical unit of measure for all lengths and measurements in CSS. This unit is density-independent, and distinct from actual hardware pixels present in a display. User agents and operating systems should ensure that a CSS pixel is set as closely as possible to the CSS Values and Units Module Level 3 reference pixel [[!css3-values]], which takes into account the physical dimensions of the display and the assumed viewing distance (factors that cannot be determined by content authors).

focus indicator

the pixels that are changed to visually indicate when a user interface component is in a focused state.

minimum bounding box

the smallest enclosing rectangle aligned to the horizontal axis within which all the points of a shape lie. Where a component consists of disconnected parts, such as a link that wraps onto multiple lines, each part is considered to have its own bounding box.


continuous line forming the boundary of a shape not including shared pixels, or the minimum bounding box, whichever is shortest. For example, the perimeter calculation for a rectangle is 2h+2w -4, where h is the height and w is the width and the corners are not counted twice. The perimeter of a circle is 2𝜋r.

user interface component

a part of the content that is perceived by users as a single control for a distinct function


Multiple user interface components may be implemented as a single programmatic element. "Components" here is not tied to programming techniques, but rather to what the user perceives as separate controls.


User interface components include form elements and links as well as components generated by scripts.


What is meant by "component" or "user interface component" here is also sometimes called "user interface element".

An applet has a "control" that can be used to move through content by line or page or random access. Since each of these would need to have a name and be settable independently, they would each be a "user interface component."