Description Property (Windows Accessibility features)


The Description property is often used incorrectly and is not supported by Microsoft UI Automation. Microsoft Active Accessibility server developers should not use this property. If more information is needed for accessibility and automation scenarios, use the properties supported by UI Automation elements and control patterns.


An object's Description property provides a textual description about an object's visual appearance. The description is primarily used to provide greater context for low-vision or blind users, but is also used for context searching or other applications. This property can help users understand an icon or the overall visual appearance.

The Description property is retrieved by calling IAccessible::get_accDescription.

When to Support the Description Property

Servers support the Description property if the description is not obvious, or when it is not redundant based on the object's Name, Role, State, and Value properties. For example, a button labeled "OK" would not need additional information, whereas a button that shows a picture of a cactus would. The Name, Role, and Help properties for such a button describe its purpose, but the Description property conveys information that is less tangible; for example, "This button shows a picture of a cactus."

A Microsoft Active Accessibility server can add support for UI Automation by using Direct Annotation, using the IAccessibleEx interface, or by implementing Microsoft Active Accessibility and UI Automation side-by-side with both implementations handling the WM_GETOBJECT message.

Using Direct Annotation

The IAccessibleEx Interface