Introduction to Continuum Explorer

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Continuum Explorer is the simplest way for developers to test their code for accessibility issues, using "live reloading", a feature that detects code changes and reloads the context in an active browser. Continuum Explorer is a Chrome extension that flags accessibility issues found on the loaded page and provides the developer with remediation guidance for each violation. With Continuum Explorer, accessibility testing occurs while your developers write code rather than after they commit their code, making it easy for them to write beautiful and accessible code.

Continuum Explorer is currently available for Google Chrome only. There are two version available to users: 

  1. Professional: This is downloadable from the AMP Toolbox and is available to customers who license Access Continuum. It contains the professional version of Access Engine, which contains all available automatic and guided automatic tests.
  2. Community: This is downloadable from and is free to the public. It uses the professional edition of Access Engine and contains the full set of automatic tests, but does not include guided automatic tests.

Installing Continuum Explorer

Continuum Explorer is a Chrome extension that is approved by Google and available on the Google Chrome Store. To download and install Continuum Explorer, simply navigate to the AMP Toolbox, using Chrome, and select the "Continuum Explorer" link. This will download and install the extension automatically.

Upgrading Continuum Explorer 

If you are upgrading your Continuum Explorer extension after the May 4, 2020 release, you may see a message indicating that the extension has been disabled. This occurs because the permissions that are used by Continuum Explorer have been updated in the May 4, 2020 release. Chrome will require you to accept the permissions that are used to enable testing with Continuum Explorer across tabs. 

Chrome popup widnow indicating Continuum must be updated with the options to remove or accept permissions

Launching Continuum Explorer

Once installed, a Continuum Explorer extension button will appear in the Chrome toolbar (Continuum Explorer toolbar button). Select this button to launch Continuum Explorer, which will open in its own browser window. 

Continuum Explorer will always test the active browser tab in the main browser window. If you switch between browser tabs and/or windows, Continuum Explorer will recognize that the active tab or window has changed and prompt you to test the page. Similarly, if you update the contents of the page that is being tested, Continuum Explorer will recognize that the contents of the page have been updated and prompt you to retest. 

Testing with Continuum Explorer

Continuum Explorer is an ideal tool for developers to test UI they are building, as they are building it. Testing is meant to be done locally, before code is checked in. As changes are made and pages are loaded in a browser window for visual inspection, Continuum Explorer can test the page loaded in the window.

NOTE: In order to test static HTML Files loaded in your browser, rather than locally hosted files served from a local server, you must navigate to the chrome://extensions, find Continuum Explorer and choose 'details', then choose 'allow access to file URLs'.  This will allow static local file testing. 

Continuum Explorer browser window

Read more in the Testing with Continuum Explorer article. 

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