Re: ALT 2, Brute'?

Subject: Re: ALT 2, Brute'?
From: "Jeanne A. E. DeVoto" <jaed -at- jaedworks -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000 16:31:42 -0700

The generic advice for the alt attribute is that it should replace the
graphic, not describe it. (You can use the title attribute to describe the
graphic, if desired.)

For example:

- If the graphic contains text or a logo that includes text, make the alt
the same as the text. (For example, alt="Foo Corporation", not
alt="Corporate logo, 402K".)

- If the graphic is a bullet or some similar glyph, find something in
ASCII that approximates it. (For example, alt="*", not alt="medium-sized
green bullet".)
This works better with text browsers (or graphic browsers with images not
loaded) than with speaking browsers, so you may want to use a different
approach if your audience includes a lot of users who have audio access.

- If the graphic is a pure decoration that's there for aesthetic value
rather than meaning, it has no equivalent in text, so you can simply use
alt="" to remove it from the text stream so it won't distract the text user.

- If the graphic is itself part of the content - for instance, a part
drawing - a description might be appropriate, but even better is a
description that replaces the graphic content. For example, alt="Tab A goes
into Slot B", rather than alt="Picture of Tab A and Slot B".

jeanne a. e. devoto ~ jaed -at- jaedworks -dot- com

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