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Re: ALT tag preferences

From: Tyler Kendall <tyler_kendall@ncsu.edu>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 14:16:28 -0400
Message-ID: <3B3B747B.451D9CC0@ncsu.edu>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Thanks everyone (both for the warm welcome and the response),

    David, I very much appreciate your advice and want to highlight it,
because I think it very well put.  That is: "the alt should provide the
function not a description."  I think your suggestion to use "--" for the
ALT tag for bullet graphics is great.  This ties in to Kynn's good point
that ALT = "bullet" in a text-only browser is "icky".

    Kynn, to anwser your question (which was "By images with no ALT text
whatsoever do you mean it just says "IMAGE" or the like?"): Yes, JAWS reads
images with no ALT text as "graphic [and then the filename]".  The user can
set in preferences to skip those images - but it seems to me this presents a
problem in that until users of screen readers or other assistive
technologies can be confident that the page they are viewing is accessible,
they have no way of knowing whether they are skipping a simple spacer or
important information.

    I'd be curious to hear what JAWS (or other screen reader) users prefer
regarding their settings for images with no ALT tags.

    Finally, Mike, my apologies - my coding for an ALT tag for a spacer
image was ALT = ' ' (that is apostrophe space apostrophe, though I meant it
as quote space quote).

Thanks again and best,


David Poehlman wrote:

> Hi Tyler and welcome to the fray.
> On your first question, this is a bug in jaws and we hope it will be
> addressed soon.  you could use alt=" " that's a space in quotes for
> those who didn't catch it but I would dis recommend any characters to
> indicate "spacers".
> On the second question, here again, we have a problem with jfw so you
> may have to use "--" that's two dashes for those who need it described,
> because for some reason, jfw doesn't like one character alt tags.  The
> rule of thumb here is the alt should provide the function not a
> description.
> Thanks and again welcome!

Tyler Kendall
Web Accessibility Specialist
North Carolina State University
Voice: 919-513-4087
Fax: 919-513-1893
Email: tyler_kendall@ncsu.edu
Received on Thursday, 28 June 2001 14:17:09 UTC

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