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Images of text -- P1 violation or no?

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 11:37:26 -0400
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001b01bfa55e$2b5a24a0$53fe330a@msde>
Dear Group,

I have what I initially thought should be an easy question.

Should not using a picture of text (i.e., a .GIF image that contains nothing
but words) be a WCAG P1 violation?

Checkpoint 3.1 addresses this, but the language is not nearly as explicit as
it could be:
<Q>When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than images
to convey information.</Q>

Even assuming that ALT content is used appropriately, this seems like a VERY
significant obstacle.

I would make the case that this should be P1 since someone with low vision
would not be able to read the text since the "use larger fonts" option of
the UA browser would be effectively disabled.

One could argue that it is only P2 since the person has a couple of work
arounds (but neither of which are very good):
(1)  Use screen magnification ($) which, of course, works on graphics as
well as text.
(2)  Disable image loading, and use the features of the OS / UA to magnify
the ALT text content.

I am thinking of the little old lady who might be convinced to use an
"internet appliance".  Ease of use is a big concern, but even she can handle
the "bigger/smaller font button"!  Except it frequently doesn't seem to

Hmmm, I may have answered my own earlier post where I inquired as to if any
of the P2 checkpoints (aside from 5.3) made a real difference in
Received on Thursday, 13 April 2000 11:40:49 UTC

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