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|commercial = No|type = Web standards testEnglish language>English|registration = No|owner = The Web Standards Project|creator = Ian HicksonAcid3 test is a web test page from the Web Standards Project that checks a web browser's compliance with elements of various web standards, particularly the Document Object Model (DOM) and JavaScript.If the test is successful, the results of the Acid3 test will display a gradually increasing fraction counter below a series of colored rectangles. The number of subtests passed will indicate the percentage that will be displayed on the screen. This percentage does not represent an actual percentage of conformance as the test does not really keep track of the subtests that were actually started (100 is assumed). Moreover, the browser also has to render the page exactly as the reference page is rendered in the same browser. Like the text of the Acid2 test, the text of the Acid3 reference rendering is not a bitmap, in order to allow for certain differences in font rendering.Acid3 was in development from April 2007,WEB,weblink HTML5 IRC logs: freenode / #whatwg / 20070422, 23 April 2007, 2007-12-28, and released on 3 March 2008.PRESS RELEASE,weblink Acid3: Putting Browser Makers on Notice, Again., 2007-03-04, 2008-03-03, Web Standards Project, The main developer was Ian Hickson, a Google employee who also wrote the Acid2 test. Acid2 focused primarily on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), but this third Acid test also focuses on technologies used on highly interactive websites characteristic of Web 2.0, such as ECMAScript and DOM Level 2. A few subtests also concern Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), Extensible Markup Language (XML), and data URIs. It includes several elements from the CSS2 recommendation that were later removed in CSS2.1,{{Citation needed|date=October 2012}} but reintroduced in World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) CSS3 working drafts that have not made it to candidate recommendations yet.By April 2017, the updated specifications had diverged from the test such that the latest versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox no longer pass the test as writtenweblink Hickson acknowledges that some aspects of the test were controversial and has written that the test "no longer reflects the consensus of the Web standards it purports to test, especially when it comes to issues affecting mobile browsers".WEB, Hickson, Ian, Acid Tests,weblink 7 May 2018,


The main part of Acid3 is written in ECMAScript (JavaScript) and consists of 100 subtests in six groups called "buckets", including four special subtests (0, 97, 98, and 99).WEB, Hickson, Ian,weblink Comments in the source code of the test page, 2008-03-03, Web Standards Project, 2008-02-16,weblink" title="">weblink 18 February 2008, no,
  • Bucket 1: DOM Traversal, DOM Range, HTTP
  • Bucket 2: DOM2 Core and DOM2 Events
  • Bucket 3: DOM2 Views, DOM2 Style, CSS 3 selectors and Media QueriesWEB,weblink Media Queries, Lie, HÃ¥kon Wium, Çelik, Tantek, Tantek Çelik, Daniel, Glazman, Daniel Glazman, Anne, van Kesteren, 15 September 2009, World Wide Web Consortium, 9 February 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 11 February 2010, no,
  • Bucket 4: Behavior of HTML tables and forms when manipulated by script and DOM2 HTML
  • Bucket 5: Tests from the Acid3 Competition (SVG,WEB, Dahlström, Erik, 2008-01-22,weblink Getting to the core of the web, 2008-02-16, Opera Software,weblink" title="">weblink 2 February 2008, no, HTML, SMIL, Unicode, …)
  • Bucket 6: ECMAScript
The compliance criteria require that the test be run with a browser's default settings. The final rendering must have a 100/100 score and must be pixel-identical with the reference rendering.WEB,weblink The Acid3 Test (reference Rendering), Hickson, Ian, Web Standards Project, 9 February 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 12 February 2010, no, On browsers designed for personal computers, the animation has to be smooth (taking no more than 33 ms for each subtest on reference hardware equivalent to a top-of-the-line Apple laptop) as well,WEB,weblink The performance aspect of Acid3, Ian Hickson, 2008-04-01, 2008-04-03,weblink" title="">weblink 5 April 2008, no, though slower performance on a slow device does not imply non-conformance.WEB,weblink Acid3 Browser Test – The Web Standards Project, Web Standards Project, 9 February 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 19 January 2010, no,
missing image!
- Fennec acid3-89.png -
Acid3 rendered by Fennec 1.0 alpha 1. Buckets 2, 4, and 6 pass all 16 subtests, buckets 1 and 3 pass more than 10 subtests while bucket 5 passes more than 5 subtests.
To pass the test the browser must also display a generic favicon in the browser toolbar, not the favicon image from the Acid3 web server. The Acid3 server when asked for favicon.ico gives a 404 response code, but with image data in the body. This tests that the web browser correctly handles the 404 error code when fetching the favicon, by treating this as a failure and displaying the generic icon instead.WEB,weblink comment to 'Full pass of Acid3', Maciej Stachowiak,, 2008-09-26, 2009-04-29, When the test is running, the rectangles will be added to the rendered image; the number of subtests passed in the bucket will determine the color of the rectangles.
  • 0 subtests passed: No rectangle shown.
  • 1–5 subtests passed: Black rectangle.
  • 6–10 subtests passed: Grey rectangle.
  • 11–15 subtests passed: Silver rectangle.
  • All 16 subtests passed: Colored rectangle (left to right: red, orange, yellow, lime, blue, purple).
Note that Acid3 does not display exactly how many subtests passed in a bucket. For example, 3 subtests passing and 4 subtests passing in bucket 2 would both render a black rectangle.

Detailed results

missing image!
- Acid3ie8rc1.png -
Acid3 rendered by Internet Explorer 8.0 (before the September 2011 update of the Acid3 test). 20/100, test failed.
After the Acid3 test page is completely rendered, the word Acid3 can be clicked to see an alert (or shift-click for a new window) explaining exactly which subtests have failed and what the error message was. In case one of the 100 tests passed but took too much time, the report includes timing results for that single test. The alert reports the total time of the whole Acid3 test.(File:Chromium 71 Acid3 Test.png|alt=|thumb|Screenshot of Chromium 71 running the Acid3 test as of December 2018.)In order to render the test correctly, user agents need to implement the CSS 3 Text Shadows and the CSS 2.x Downloadable Fonts specifications, which are currently under consideration by W3C to be standardized. This is required as the test uses a custom TrueType font, called "AcidAhemTest", to cover up a 20x20 red square. Supporting Truetype fonts however is not required by the CSS specification. A browser supporting only OpenType fonts with CFF outlines or Embedded OpenType fonts could support the CSS standard, but fail the test in the Acid3 test. The glyph, when rendered by the downloaded font, is just a square, made white with CSS, and thus invisible.WEB, Hickson, Ian, 2008-03-29,weblink The antialiasing controversy in Acid3, 2009-04-30,weblink" title="">weblink 8 May 2009, no, In addition, the test also uses Base64 encoded images, some more advanced selectors, CSS 3 color values (HSLA) as well as bogus selectors and values that should be ignored.

Development and impact

Google employee Ian Hickson started working on the test in April 2007, but development progressed slowly. In December 2007, work restarted and the project received public attention on January 10, 2008, when it was mentioned in blogs by Anne van Kesteren.WEB, van Kesteren, Anne, 2008-01-10,weblink Acid3, 2008-03-04,weblink" title="">weblink 7 March 2008, no, At the time the project resided at a URL clearly showing its experimental nature: ""Despite the notice in the URL, the test received widespread attention in the web-development community. At that time only 84 subtests had been done, and on January 14 Ian Hickson announced a competition to fill in the missing 16.WEB, Hickson, Ian, 2008-01-14,weblink The competition for you to come up with the best test for Acid3, 2008-03-04,weblink" title="">weblink March 8, 2008, no, The following developers contributed to the final test through this competition:
  • Sylvain Pasche: subtests 66 and 67: DOM.
  • David Chan: subtest 68: UTF-16/UCS-2.
  • Simon Pieters (Opera) and Anne van Kesteren (Opera): subtest 71: HTML parsing.
  • Jonas Sicking (Mozilla) and Garrett Smith: subtest 72: dynamic modification of style blocks' text nodes.
  • Jonas Sicking (Mozilla): subtest 73: Nested events.
  • Erik Dahlström (Opera): subtests 74 to 78: SVG and SMIL.
  • Cameron McCormack (Batik SVG library): subtest 79: SVG fonts.
Even before its official release, Acid3's impact on browser development was dramatic. In particular, WebKit's score rose from 60 to 87 in less than a month.WEB, Hickson, Ian, 2008-03-04,weblink Moebius (announcement of the completion of the test), 2008-03-04,weblink" title="">weblink 8 March 2008, no, The test was officially released on March 3, 2008. A guide and commentary was expected to follow within a few months, but, as of March 2011, only the commentary had been released. The announcement that the test is complete means only that it is to be considered "stable enough" for actual use. A few problems and bugs were found with the test, and it was modified to fix them.WEB,weblink Tests that are never quite finished, Ian Hickson, 2008-03-30,weblink" title="">weblink March 30, 2008, no, WEB,weblink Media queries and performance in Acid3 (and an error on my part), Ian Hickson, 2008-04-22, 2008-04-24,weblink" title="">weblink April 25, 2008, no, On March 26, 2008—the day both Opera and WebKit teams announced a 100/100 score—developers of WebKit contacted Hickson about a critical bug in Acid3 that presumably allowed a violation of the SVG 1.1 standard to pass. Hickson fixed the bug with the help of Cameron McCormack, a member of W3C's SVG Working Group.WEB,weblink Last minute changes to Acid3, Ian Hickson, 2008-03-30, WEB, WebKit achieves Acid3 100/100 in public build,weblink 2008-03-26, Maciej Stachowiak,, 2008-03-26,weblink" title="">weblink 28 March 2008, no,

Chrome, Presto and WebKit based browsers

In 2008, development versions of the PrestoWEB,weblink Opera and the Acid3 Test, Tim Altman, March 2008, 2008-03-28, Opera Software,weblink" title="">weblink 28 March 2008, no, WEB,weblink Public Acid3 build, The latest post-9.5 build scores 99/100 and fails the smoothness criterion., Lars Erik Bolstad, Opera Software, March 2008, 2008-03-28,weblink" title="">weblink 30 March 2008, yes, and WebKitWEB,weblink Safari Beta 4 is the First Browser to Hit a Perfect Acid3 Test Score, Paul Lilly, Maximum PC, 2008-09-29, 2009-11-16, layout engines (used by Opera and Safari respectively) scored 100/100 on the test and rendered the test page correctly. At the time, no browser using the Presto or WebKit layout engines passed the performance aspect of the test.WEB,weblink The WebKit browser engine running under the Safari browser UI,, April 8, 2007, Adele, Peterson, 2010-02-09, WEB,weblink Full Pass of Acid3, September 25, 2008, 2010-02-09, Maciej, Stachowiak,, Google Chrome and Opera MobileWEB,weblink Opera Mobile 9.7 with Opera Turbo, Lund Engebø, Helene, March 26, 2009, Opera Software, Opera Software ASA, 2009-07-06,weblink" title="">weblink June 2, 2009, no, displayed a score of 100/100.PRESS RELEASE,weblink Turbocharge your Web experience with Opera 10, 2009-09-04, Opera Software, 2009-09-01, Security concerns over downloadable fonts delayed Chrome from passing.WEB,weblink Issue 231: Acid test 3 fails on chrome, 8 July 2009, Google, 9 February 2010, Version 68 of Chrome gets a score of 97/100.


{{update-section|date=March 2019}}(File:Acid3 test on Firefox 64.0.png|thumb|Acid3 done on Firefox 64.0.)At the time of Acid3's release, Mozilla Firefox developers had been preparing for the imminent release of Firefox 3, focusing more on stability than Acid3 success. Consequently, Firefox 3 had a score of 71.WEB,weblink The missed opportunity of acid 3, Mike Shaver, 2008-03-27, 2008-03-30,weblink" title="">weblink 29 March 2008, no, Firefox 3.5 scored 93/100, and Firefox 3.6 scored 94/100. Initially, Firefox 4 scored 97/100, because it did not support SVG fonts. Later, Firefox 4 scored 100/100, because the SVG font tests were removed from Acid3.According to Mozilla employee Robert O'Callahan, Firefox did not support SVG fonts because Mozilla considered WOFF a superior alternative to SVG fonts.WEB,weblink Not Implementing Features Is Hard, Robert O'Callahan, 2010-06-03, 2010-12-15, Another Mozilla engineer, Boris Zbarsky, claimed that the subset of the specification implemented in Webkit and Opera gives no benefits to web authors or users over WOFF, and he asserted that implementing SVG Fonts fully in a web browser is hard because it was "not designed with integration with HTML in mind".WEB, Limi, Alexander, 2011-01-25,weblink Mythbusting: Why Firefox 4 won't score 100 on Acid3, 2011-09-20, On April 2, 2010, Ian Hickson made minor changes to the test after Mozilla, due to privacy concerns, altered the way Gecko handles the :visited pseudo-class.{{citation |url= |title=Preventing attacks on a user's history through CSS :visited selectors |first=David |last=Baron |date=2010-03-09 |publisher=Mozilla|accessdate=2010-04-08| archiveurl=weblink" title="">weblink| archivedate= 5 April 2010 | deadurl= no}}{{citation |url= |title=Acid3 update for :link/:visited privacy changes |first=Ian |last=Hickson |date=2010-04-02 |accessdate=2010-04-07}}Firefox 51.0a1 made a regression from 100 to 99 on September 14, 2016; Firefox 55.0a1 further regressed to 97 on May 1, 2017.WEB,weblink 1409813 - Firefox Quantum 57.0b9 (64-bit) (Linux) Fails Acid 3 Test, 2018-12-23, chrisjone, 2017-10-18, Bugzilla, In Firefox Quantum versions, 63.0 received 97/100; 64.0 got 96/100.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft said that Acid3 did not agree with the goal of Internet Explorer 8 and that IE8 would improve only some of the standards being tested by Acid3.WEB,weblink Windows Internet Explorer 8 Expert Zone Chat (20 March 2008), Chris Wilson, The ACID3 test is a collection of interesting tests, spread across a large set of standards. Some of those standards will see improvements in IE8 – in fact, IE8 already improves on IE7's score – but we are focused on the most important features and standards to make web developers' lives easier. The Acid3 test does not map directly to that goal., 2008-04-15, Microsoft, 20 March 2008,weblink" title="">weblink 20 April 2008, no, IE8 scored 20/100, which is much worse than all relevant competitors at the time of Acid3's release, and had some problems with rendering the Acid3 test page. On 18 November 2009, the Internet Explorer team posted a blog entry about the early development of Internet Explorer 9 from the PDC presentation, showing that an internal build of the browser could score 32/100.WEB,weblink An Early Look At IE9 for Developers, 18 November 2009, Microsoft, 9 February 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 8 February 2010, no, Throughout 2010, several public Developer Previews improved Internet Explorer 9's test scores from 55/100 (on 16 MarchThe Web Standards Project's Acid3 Test {{webarchive|url= |date=2010-08-06 }}, Microsoft. For IE 9's First Developer Preview.) to 95/100 (as of 4 August).The Web Standards Project's Acid3 Test {{webarchive|url= |date=2010-08-06 }}, Microsoft. For IE 9's 2nd Developer Preview.The Web Standards Project's Acid3 Test {{webarchive|url= |date=2010-08-14 }}, Microsoft. For IE 9's 3rd Developer Preview.The Web Standards Project's Acid3 Test {{Webarchive|url= |date=2010-03-22 }}, Microsoft. For IE 9's 4th Developer Preview. Dean Hachamovich, general manager of the IE team, argued that striving for 100/100 on the Acid3 test is neither necessary, nor desirable. He claimed that the two Acid3 failures related to features (SVG fonts and SMIL animation) that were "in transition".WEB,weblink Microsoft releases final IE9 preview, beta due in September, ZDNet, 2010-08-26, 2010-11-09,weblink" title="">weblink 2 December 2010, no, Internet Explorer 11 and Edge both display a score of 100/100.


Early iterations of the test were criticized for being a cherry-picked collection of features that were rarely used, as well as those that were still in a W3C working draft. Eric A. Meyer, a notable web standards advocate, wrote, "The real point here is that the Acid3 test isn't a broad-spectrum standards-support test. It's a showpiece, and something of a Potemkin village at that. Which is a shame, because what's really needed right now is exhaustive test suites for specifications—XHTML, CSS, DOM, SVG."WEB,weblink Acid Redux, 2008-03-22, 2010-03-21,weblink" title="">weblink 6 March 2010, no, "Implementing just enough of the standard to pass a test is disingenuous, and has nothing to do with standards compliance," argued Mozilla UX lead Alex Limi, in his article "Mythbusting: Why Firefox 4 won't score 100 on Acid3." Limi argued that some of the tests, particularly those for SVG fonts, have no relation to real usage, and implementations in some browsers have been created solely for the point of raising scores.WEB,weblink Mythbusting: Why Firefox 4 won't score 100 on Acid3, 2011-01-25, 2011-01-25,weblink" title="">weblink 26 January 2011, no,

September 2011 test changes

On September 17, 2011, Ian Hickson announced an update to Acid3. In Hickson's words, HÃ¥kon Wium Lie (from Opera Software) and he commented out "the parts of the test that might get changed in the specs." They hoped that this change would "allow the specs to change in whatever way is best for the Web, rather than constraining the changes to only be things that happened to fit what Acid3 tested!"WEB,weblink Ian Hickson announces Acid3 modifications, 2011-09-17, 2011-09-17, As a result, Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 achieved a score of 100/100 on Acid3, but Internet Explorer didn't render the test properly because it did not support text-shadow until Internet Explorer 10.WEB,weblink Acid3 Test Simplified; All Modern Browsers Score 100, 2011-09-20, 2013-06-07,

Standards tested

Parts of the following standards are tested by Acid3:{{collist|colwidth=22em|
  • HTTP 1.1 Protocol
  • DOM Level 2 Views
  • HTML 4.01 Strict
  • DOM Level 2 Traversal (subtests 1–6)
  • DOM Level 2 Range (subtests 7–11)
  • Content-Type: image/png; text/plain (subtests 14–15)
  • handling and HTTP status codes (subtest 16)
  • DOM Level 2 Core (subtests 17, 21)
  • ECMAScript GC (subtests 26–27)
  • DOM Level 2 Events (subtests 17, 30–32)
  • CSS Selectors (subtests 33–40)
  • DOM Level 2 Style (subtest 45)
  • DOM Level 2 HTML (subtest 60)
  • Unicode 5.0 UTF-16 (subtest 68)
  • Unicode 5.0 UTF-8 (subtest 70)
  • HTML 4.0 Transitional (subtest 71)
  • SVG 1.1 (subtests 74, 78)
  • SMIL 2.1 (subtests 75–76)
  • SVG 1.1 Fonts (subtests 77, 79)
  • ECMAScript Conformance (subtests 81-96)
  • Data URI scheme (subtest 97)
  • XHTML 1.0 Strict (subtest 98)

Passing conditions

A passing score is only considered valid if the browser's default settings were used.The following browser settings and user actions may invalidate the test:
  • Zooming in or out
  • Disabling images
  • Applying custom fonts, colors, styles, etc.
  • Having add-ons or extensions installed and enabled
  • Installed and enabled User JavaScript or Greasemonkey scripts

See also




External links

{{Acid tests}}{{Web browsers}}

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- "Acid3" does not exist on GetWiki (yet)
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M.R.M. Parrott