Skip to Content

Writing Good ALTernate Text for Web Pages

By David Katten, Web Accessibility Specialist, Web Services

All images on a webpage require a text equivalent or “alternate text”. But how?! How do you know if the alternate text on your page is good? Here are a few tips:

  • Keep it short. Long alt text can be more of a hindrance than a help. Be short, and only talk about the subject of the image
  • Decorative images should have empty alt text. If an image is decorative (like a list bullet or a graphic that divides sections), it needs empty alt text. But it still needs alt text!
  • Alt text is a replacement, not a description. When writing alt text, remember that it is supposed to be a textual replacement of an image, not a description. For instance, if the image is a link, the alt text should be what a text link would be.
  • Text in image = alt text. If there is text in the image, that text should be in the alt text.

For more information about web accessibility requirements contact the Web Accessibility Specialist at ati@csus.edu

 

Do you have feedback regarding the ATI? Email us at ati@csus.edu