Alt text for images

Tor Martin Storsletten
Mar 1 · 2 min read
Possible alt text for this image: Three people walking off a plank that is tilting over a hole, and one last person is left standing on it…
  1. Do not start the text by stating that it is “Image of”, since this is already implied by the semantics of the img element. It’s like saying, “Image of image…”
  2. Do not use the same text that is also displayed in an adjacent element such as a heading. Those who see the alt text instead of the graphics don’t want the exact same text twice.
  3. If it’s technically impossible to provide a good description for an image whose presence is significant, then you may resort to a more generic alt text, such as “User’s main profile picture”, or “Uploaded image 1” (or use date and time instead of index).
  4. Never omit the alt attribute. However, if the image is insignificant and merely for decorative purposes, then you may use an empty string as alt text as a last resort. An empty alt indicates to assistive technology that the presence of the image should be ignored.

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Tor Martin Storsletten

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FINN.no Blog – Product, Design, and Tech

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