W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > April to June 2000

background images

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 16:51:16 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
I just came across a page with a background image

<body background="image.gif">

There was no ALT text... indeed there's no way to add alt text here.

Backgrounds are often just decoration, but this one had actual textual 
info.  So we need a guideline.  E.g. to

  1. limit background images to pure decoration  or

2.  include any info in the background image in the text of the page, 
possibly invisible text or

Of course, background is deprecated (cf 
http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/global.html#edef-BODY ) but that doesn't 
help us now.

Please tell me if I've missed something in the guidelines about this.  I 
know its there in spirit, but I don't see a literal reference in 1.1, which 

>For example, in HTML:
>         Use "alt" for the IMG, INPUT, and APPLET elements, or provide a 
> text equivalent in the content of the OBJECT
>         and APPLET elements.
>         For complex content (e.g., a chart) where the "alt" text does not 
> provide a complete text equivalent, provide an
>         additional description using, for example, "longdesc" with IMG or 
> FRAME, a link inside an OBJECT element, or a
>         description link.
>         For image maps, either use the "alt" attribute with AREA, or use 
> the MAP element with A elements (and other text)
>         as content.


Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Department of Electrical Engineering
Temple University 423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122


(215) 204-2247 (voice)  (800) 750-7428 (TTY)

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant: 
Received on Wednesday, 21 June 2000 16:50:31 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:32 UTC