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Donovan LaDuke - Developer

semantics Vs clearAndSetSemantics

When working on accessibility in a Jetpack Compose UI, you use semantics and clearAndSetSemantics to give the user information about the UI they are interacting with. But how do you know when to use semantics vs clearAndSetSemantics?

If an element has no children, you can use semantics to override the default behavior for that element. If an element has children, but you just want it all read as a single logical element use semantics but set the mergeDescendants parameter to true. If you use mergeDescendants but want certain children to still read, you can also set mergeDescendants to true for those elements and they will not be merged into the parent. Finally, if you want to have a parent element to have a fully custom contentDescription and don't want the children read, use clearAndSetSemantics. Remember that even if you use mergeDescendants and a custom contentDescription in a semantics modifier that the system will read both the custom description and the merged descendent description.

Want to see it in action? Check out this gist showing how TalkBack intreprets different modifiers.

That's all you need to know to start using semantics and clearAndSetSemantics in your app. I hope this helps you give your users the best possible experience. Until next time, thanks!

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