alt image podcast web

ALT Attributes — Use Them, Damn It

Not really sure why so many web sites are missing ALT attributes on their images. In this podcast, Dennis explains a number of reasons why they must be used.

Download Web Axe Episode 18 (ALT attributes)

3 replies on “ALT Attributes — Use Them, Damn It”

Really like your show. I put it in a new podcast review I write in my blog. I heard about your show through Paul Boag’s podcast – I am quite the podcast junkie.
Anyhow, thanks for alerting the web design community about this very important, yet often ignored aspect of web accessibility. I found it useful to visit sites like Window Eyes to get a better idea of how those with disabilities surf the net.

I agree with you that ALT tags are just a basic part of writing valid code. Unfortunately, many so-called “webmasters” are really just beginners with WYSIWYG web editors throwing pages and sites up (that is when they’re not doing it with Microsoft Word.) These editors usually have a place in their image properties section to include ALT or descriptive text but fail to require it or even stress the importance of it.

I disagree with you, however, on the use of spacer images. These still have a valid use for accessibility even on a pure CSS layout page. They’re handy for floating over complex background images and identifying specific elements of a larger image–especially collage-type images or images with relevant text in them. I occassionally get these in press releases that I’m supposed to use on station websites to promote an upcoming show. This method is also more accessible than JavaScript Image Maps for graphic navigation methods.

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