Re: Questionable implementation of IMG ALT attribute as tooltips

=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Claus_Andr=E9_F=E4rber?= (
25 Jan 1998 11:35:00 +0100

Date: 25 Jan 1998 11:35:00 +0100
From: (=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Claus_Andr=E9_F=E4rber?=)
Message-ID: <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: Questionable implementation of IMG ALT attribute as tooltips

Green J M K <> schrieb:
> For unimportant pictures, why not ALT="[Pic]" or even ALT="" (I'm not
> sure that nothingness will validate)?

"" is often the best choice. The text in the ALT attribute should  
replace the image on non-graphics browsers or when graphics are switched  
off, so do not write a description of the image but the text that shall  
be shown to users instead.

I usually choose one of these:

For unimportant pictures, ALT="" is the only reasonable choice. (But  
then, if it's that unimportant, why use it at all?)

For small icons or symbols, I use characters to imitate the appearance  
of the image, e.g. <img src="mylogo.gif" alt="MyLoGo"> or
<img src="bullet.gif" alt="*">.

For important, bigger pictures, I make them downloadable:
<a href="photo.jpg"><img alt="[Photo of XXX, 8kB]" src="photo.jpg"  

Or as a simple rule of the thumb: Load your page in Lynx and think about  

> Also, for separator bars, why not use <HR> and maybe include classes for
> CSS? Much faster.

I never use non-<HR> separators, simply because they don't behave well  
for browsers on different screen sizes.
<UL> is better than using <img src="bullet.gif"> too, as long as you  
don't need different, non-ascending symbols.

> BTW, "+" won't take up much room on the screen, so unless you're using a
> dodgy small screen-mode, not much will be over-written.

Right the point was that "Bullet" is too long (6 chars) and another  
point is that it looks ugly:

Bullet This is the first item.
Bullet Item 2 goes here.
Bullet 3rd item is in this line.

Claus André Färber <> Fax: +49_8061_3361
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