Use of ALT in web pages

Subject: Use of ALT in web pages
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000 04:56:09 -0700 (PDT)

--- Jean Weber <jean -at- wrevenge -dot- com -dot- au> wrote:
> Another big problem for some of us (those using mobile phones and palmtops
> again <g> as well as the visually impaired) is a graphics-intensive site
> that does NOT have alternatives if I turn graphics off. No ALT tags or text
> links -- I'm dead in the water.

Jean's comment above reminded me of a question I have been meaning to ask those
who also develop web pages for their documentation--and for other reasons.

Lately, I have taken to making the ALT string in my graphics more descriptive
than the one or two word descriptions one usually sees. My thinking is that if
someone is not downloading graphics or is visually impaired and using a browser
that speaks the text, including ALT information, to them these users would like
to have some actual description of the graphic they are not seeing.

Does that make sense? (I admit that it seems to to me.) Do others consider what
kind of text they are providing with their graphics? Is there such a thing as
too much in an ALT description?

Or have I made a mountain out of an ant hill? <g>

Tom Murrell
Senior Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com

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