WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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RE: Spliced Images


From: Reidy Brown
Date: Sep 7, 2000 7:34PM

Often designers do this when the complex images include or "frame" text or
table code, making the non-graphic elements appear to be part of the
graphic. Or if some parts of the image are reused over and over (to make
tables appear to have rounded corners, say) while some are replaced (the
title of the tables, either as formatted text or as a graphic). If the
images are sliced in a somewhat meaningful way, you can handle this by
giving useful alt tags to semantically meaningful parts of a table and empty
alt tags to "architectural" graphics-- graphics that are used to maintain
the visual composition of the page but convey no other meaning. Here are
some sample tags (stripped of other attributes for simplicity):
<img src="/images/tabs/roundedleftcorner.gif" alt=""><img
src="/images/tabs/tooltabtext.gif" alt="Tools"><img
src="/images/tabs/roundedrightcorner.gif" alt="">
which could also be conveyed using text and style sheets (more in line with
WAI guidelines):
<img src="/images/tabs/roundedleftcorner.gif" alt=""><span
class="tab">Tools</span><img src="/images/tabs/roundedrightcorner.gif"

Here's a hint: look at the page in Lynx or another text-only browser. If the
meaning of the page is clear and uncluttered, while conveying all important
information, you've designed it well. Otherwise, you can try assigning alt
tags differently to make it easier to read the page.
Reidy Brown
Accessibility Coordinator/
Software Engineer
Blackboard, Inc.
1899 L. St., NW, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 463-4860 x236

-----Original Message-----
From: Darren Brown [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2000 11:23 PM
To: WebAIM accessibility forum
Subject: Re: Spliced images

couldn't you just forgo alt tags on the images themselves and give the table
a "title" tag?
good luck--
Darren B.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2000 3:22 PM
Subject: Spliced images

> Many designers use tables to splice together complex images to form the
look of one complex image. I realize that this can also be achieved
> using CSS. My question is how do you effectively use alt tags when
multiple small images are used to form the look of a larger image. If you
> use the same alt tag for all of the small images, the screen reader would
repeat the tag multiple times which could be annoying. Would it be
> better to use an alt tag in a single image and none in the others? Or is
it better to use one large, complex image and use CSS layering to
> achieve the look you want?
> Thank you,
> Jeff Isom