WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Alt Text


From: Jared Smith
Date: Feb 25, 2010 10:15AM

No tool can tell you if your alt text is appropriate or not. Only a
human can do that. Long alt text can be burdensome to users and is
often inappropriate. But not always. I think roughly ~100 characters
or so is a threshold at which one might consider using another method
than the alt attribute for conveying the content of the image. This
more lengthy content is typically provided using adjacent text, or a
link to a long description and optionally the longdesc attribute. But
this is not a hard, fast rule.

For the example you presented, I do think the alternative text could
probably be shortened. The fact that it's a graphic and that it's a
link is almost always already conveyed by a screen reader. Something
like "Download eSSENTIAL Accessibility assistive technology" seems
more appropriate, though it's impossible to know without knowing the
content and context of the exact image.

Jared Smith