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Re: alt text length

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 09:14:07 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200107300814.f6U8E7316160@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> My question is, would this be a situation where it might be 'better'
> just to write the text contained in the image as alt text? Are there any

The ideal would probably be to precis the message down to its essential
content.  Unfortunately the result might be too honest, reducing it to
just "welcome!".  The customer may well be happy with this, as it will
produce a smaller popup if a big 2 GUI user accidentally mouseovers it,
but that will be for the wrong reason; rightly or wrongly they wanted the
emotive effect of the long version, and, if they still think that way,
the whole text should be used as alt text.  As this text may be what
search engines use, don't remove anything that would be relevant to a
search engine, even if there are description and keywords meta elements.

In the past, I've seen such images carved up into individual lines,
with table mosaicing, so that each part only has a few words of alt
text.

Interestingly, there seems to have been a drastic drop in text as
graphics on UK blue chip web sites in the last few months.  There are
some left, but the graphics are small and simple, and most of the pages
are real text.  My guess is that this has much more to do with download
time than non-visual users.  Charities are small businesses are still
likely to be heavily text as graphics.
Received on Monday, 30 July 2001 04:14:56 GMT

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