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use of alt attributes in decorative images

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce_Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 12:26:50 -0500
Message-ID: <5DCA49BDD2B0D41186CE00508B6BEBD0300564@wdcrobexc01.ed.gov>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "'poehlman1@home.com'" <poehlman1@home.com>, "'kynn@idyllmtn.com'" <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Dear JAWS / HTML wizards,

Okay, I am using the latest version of JFW on a Windows 2000 box.
When I come across an image (not inside a link) that has BOTH a title and
alt attributes, JAWS reads ONLY the title -- and I can not get it to read
the alt content!

(1)  Can any else on this list confirm this bad behavior?  Home Page Reader
and Lynx don't have this problem!

(2)  Am I doing something wrong?  Is there a reasonable way around this
obstacle?  I even adjusted the "HTML Graphics Verbosity" level.  Now JAWS
reads the file name of the graphic, but still not the alt content.  Please

(3)  Does anyone know if using title on a link that contains an image causes
similar problems?  E.g.:
	<a href="foo.html" title=""><img src="foo.png" alt="Link to
I have recommend variations on the above as a way to accessibly defeat IE
image mouse-over pop-ups that site authors disliked.  Did I inadvertently
give bad advice?

(4)  Does Mozilla / Netscape 6 visually render ALT or TITLE like MS IE does
on Windows?

IMHO titles belong on links -- and that's about it.  (Yes, Kynn, I know the
specs allow them just about everywhere, but that's not the point.)


-- Bruce

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2001 10:25:43 -0800
To: "David Poehlman" <poehlman1@home.com>
From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Cc: "Frank Tobin" <ftobin@uiuc.edu>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: Re: use of alt attributes in decorative images

At 09:08 AM 1/25/2001 , David Poehlman wrote:
>unless you are going to really work to make it fit, picture is a poor
>choice of title as is logo, image, or any other content label.

It's a poor choice for ALT text, but it is highly appropriate as
a TITLE, in my opinion.  If someone chooses to have their browser
read TITLEs at the same time it reads ALT text, hey, more power
to 'em, but it _is_ correct to identify an image as a picture (or
photograph or logo or whatever) in a TITLE="" element of an IMG

The rules for TITLE are not the same as the rules for ALT.

Received on Monday, 5 February 2001 12:27:11 UTC

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