Informational icon Clarity Web Edition: The layout of the user interface for Clarity Web Edition is different than the screen shots below but the functionality description is applicable to all Clarity editions, including Clarity Web, unless noted otherwise.

To begin using CommonLook Clarity, define a “Verification Domain” to be analyzed for accessibility characteristics, including compliance with Section 508.

The user may specify a Verification Domain with one of three methods:

  • The root URL of a website. All PDF files that fall under that URL will be listed and checked.
  • The network or local path of a folder containing the PDF documents to be checked.
  • A text file containing URLs or file paths of the PDF files to be verified.

Informational icon Clarity Web Edition: Only the root URL of a website is a valid option for a Verification Domain in the case of Clarity Web Edition.

Once files have been listed for a given Verification Domain you may use Domain Filters to include or exclude PDF files that pass one, several, or all checkpoints.

NOTE: In order to use CommonLook Clarity to break out reports for each subsection of a website you will need to define additional Verification Domains for each subsection.

CommonLook Clarity can perform two distinct processes on each Verification Domain.

  • Discovery: Spider through a Verification Domain to identify PDF files for Verification processing.
  • Verification: Analyze discovered PDF files to determine accessibility status and degree of compliance with Section 508.
(In addition, a “Discovery then Verification” can be run, combining the two processes.) 

These processes may be run immediately by any Windows user, or scheduled to run at pre-defined times by users with administrative rights as detailed in the section on setting up Tasks.

NOTE: Some websites do not expose a complete path to PDF files on the server. In such cases CommonLook Clarity reports may not contain the name of Discovered files.

Defining a new Verification Domain

Define domains button. Click on the Define Domains button and then New.

The Add/Edit Verification domain window opens.

Add / Edit Verification Domain dialog.

First, enter a name and description for the Verification Domain. For the URL field, enter a website URL, a folder path or the address of a text file.

Website URL

An example would be All PDF files under this URL will be verified. If a default page exists in that site’s folder (i.e. “home”), the URL must end with a “/”.

A site without a default page must have a specific page at the end of the web address. For example, http://www,

REMEMBER:  In the Clarity Web Edition only the root URL of a website is a valid option for a Verification Domain.

Folder Path

A network or local folder path can be provided to limit the scan to PDF files contained within. An example would be:


Note that the file path ends with a folder, not a document.

Text File

The full path of a text file (e.g. c:verificationurls.txt) containing URLs or file paths of the PDF files to be verified. Each URL or path in the text file must be on its own line as in this example:

Set Max# of files if you wish CommonLook Clarity to stop after that number of PDF files has been discovered. Enter “0” or leave empty to find all PDF files in the Verification Domain.

Various Filters may be added (or edited) from within the “Add Domain” window or they can be viewed and edited later.  See below for more information on adding and/or editing domain filters.

Click the Save (or OK) button when you are done.  (Note that clicking OK does not start the scan of the website.)

Scan start and end times and Discovery metrics are displayed once the first scan is complete.

Deleting a Verification Domain

Click the Define Domains button. A list of existing Verification Domains will appear.  Select the checkbox for the Verification Domain you wish to delete, and click the Delete button.

Viewing or Editing a Verification Domain

Click the Define Domains button. A list of existing Verification Domains will appear. Choose the checkbox for the Verification Domain you wish to view or edit, and click the Edit button to display the Verification Domain’s settings.

You may edit the Name, Description, Max# of files or set a Domain Filter. Click Save when done.

NOTE: The Verification Domain’s URL may not be modified once set. To change the URL, delete and then re-create the Verification Domain.

Verification Domain Filters

When CommonLook Clarity is used to evaluate websites, the application has the ability to narrow its reports to include or exclude folders or files from processing via Domain Filters.

NOTE: Verification Domain filtering is not available for folders or lists of files provided in a text file. Only websites may use Verification Domains.

After saving new or changed Domain Filters, it is necessary to run a Full Discovery and either Incremental or Full Verification on the Verification Domain.  Follow this link to read more about Full Discovery and Incremental or Full Verification.

Adding a Domain Filter

To add a Domain filter, first select a Verification Domain by checking its checkbox and click on the Domain Filter button to bring up the Add/Edit Domain Filter window.

Type the full URL or file path into the Specify Filters / URL field. Click either Include or Exclude to add that URL or path to the list of filters. Entries are grouped by the path name.

Note that “http://” is set to Exclude by default to prevent scanning outside the Verification Domain.

Add / edit Domain Filter dialog.

Example: In order to ensure that all subsites of “” are scanned except for, first, create a new Verification Domain for your site and click the Domain Filter button. Enter the following text:


Click the Include button to add this filter, which includes:

Next, enter the following text:

Click the Exclude button to add this filter and thus exclude:, while allowing

If you want to test whether or not a file will be included given the filters you have set, enter the URL in the Specify Filter / URL field, for example:

Click the “Test” button.

The “Included in Discovery” checkbox column reflects the “Include” or “Exclude” button used to add the filter. You may change filters between Include and Exclude modes by clicking on the red X or green checkmark.

Removing a Domain Filter

To remove a Filter select its checkbox and click the Remove Item button to delete it.

Selecting the top level of a filter and clicking Remove Branch will delete it and each filter that falls below it.

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