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Re: best alt text for images that are links?

From: Aaron Smith <aaron@gwmicro.com>
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 08:33:51 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Gatewood, Joy" <jogat@opic.gov>, wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Most users prefer to know what the link is doing or where the link is 
going. Having a link that describes the image doesn't help them in terms of 
understanding what is going to happen when the link is activated. 
Window-Eyes users can read the status line to get the URL while the 
link/image is focused (assuming JavaScript isn't changing the status line), 
so that's a work-around. But the ALT tag should describe the action.


At 09:06 AM 6/7/2001 -0400, Gatewood, Joy wrote:
>If one has an image on a website, that for example is linked to a download
>of Adobe's Acrobat® Reader and image is the official Adobe Acrobat® Logo
>emblazoned with the words "Adobe - Get Acrobat Reader"
>then what is the best alt text?  Should it describe the graphic and the link
>that it goes to?  Or just the graphic?
>JAWS, when encoutering a linked graphic, will say:  link,  graphic, and then
>read the
>alt text.  Typically the alt text on a web site describes the image itself
>and not
>the link.
>Most of the guidance I've read indicates that image alt text should describe
>only the image.
>Does doing so leave the blind user clueless about navigation?  After all,
>the sighted user
>can mouse over the image and see the url of the link and choose whether to
>follow it or not
>based on that additional info.
>Any guidance here?
>Joy Gatewood
>-----Original Message-----
>From: David Poehlman [mailto:poehlman1@home.com]
>Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 12:31 PM
>To: wai-ig list
>Subject: "bread crumbs" on web sites?
>Hi, One technique that seems to be of interest to some is the use of
>what are called "bread crumbs" on sites to assist users in tracking
>where they have been and where they are going, more easily within the
>One site wants to implement this using the title tag but the info in the
>title tag is not spoken while tabbing.  Are there any thoughts about:
>1> "bread crumbs as a useful site navigation tool?"
>2> how best to implement them for best access?
>3> Any alternatives if more useful to achieve the same or a similar
>I do not have an url but there are labels such as sub section, level 1,
>level 2, and so on with a nink name for each level.  It does not seem to
>me that this is useful for persons with screen readers but might it help
>others and if it can be useful for us, how can it be made
>Hands-on Technolog(eye)s
>Touching The Internet
>voice: 301.949.7599

Aaron Smith
GW Micro
Phone: 219/489-3671
Fax: 219/489-2608
WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
Technical Support & Web Development
Received on Thursday, 7 June 2001 09:34:03 UTC

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