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rendering alt or title attributes

From: Neal Ewers <ewers@tracecenter.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 14:32:55 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org

If a screen reader presents the user with information about a link 
containing alt-text by trapping for both the alt and the title attribute	s, 
which should it render to the user?

One might assume that if the title attribute is used correctly and actually 
presents more information than the alt-text, that the title tag should be 
rendered instead.  But, there are always the odd situations where this 
would not work.  See, for example, the URL to the W3C Slide maker Tool at 
Click on "Introduction and you will find that the alt-text presents the 
"Previous" and "Next" options while the title tag gives the title of the 
next slide (ex. "On to 'title_of_next_slide'" and "Back to 
'title_of_previous_slide'").  In this case, because it is a good example of 
the use of the title attribute, if the user agent is simply rendering the 
title tags, no information is lost. What would happen, however, if the 
title attribute only included the title of the next and previous slides? In 
this case, navigation function would be lost if the user agent did not 
render the alt-text.

Does this speak to having a user preference for selecting which is 
rendered, or is there some more appropriate solution here?

Thanks for your comments.

Neal Ewers
Trace Research and Development Center
5901 Research Park Blvd.
Madison, WI 53719
Phone: (608) 263-5485
FAX: (608) 262-8848
E-mail:  ewers@tracecenter.org
Web site: http://www.trace.wisc.edu
Received on Tuesday, 21 December 1999 15:32:42 UTC

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