WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Alt Text in PowerPoint 2010


From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Apr 14, 2011 8:03AM

:) I'd still call it a bug since the same behavior doesn't seem to exist in PowerPoint 2010, just Word.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility
Adobe Systems


-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Jared Smith
Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2011 9:54 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Alt Text in PowerPoint 2010

On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 4:59 AM, Karlen Communications < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> BTW a message from the Section 508 list indicates that with SP1 of
> Office
> 2011 for Mac you can now add Alt Text to images.

More or less. It's under the Format Picture context menu. There are both "Title" and "Description" options. The explanation notes that "The screen reader first reads the title. The person can then decide whether to hear a longer description." As you'll see below, this is far from accurate.

When saved as HTML, it makes the most ugly, standards non-compliant HTML I've ever seen - 29KB of HTML for a page that contained only one image. Much worse than previous versions of Word. I uploaded an example to http://webaim.org/temp/word2012.htm WARNING: This source code may cause high levels of nausea.

I'll also note that Word 2012 offers no option for "Filtered HTML".

It also makes the alternative text:
alt="Title: I am the title - Description: I am the description."

It adds "Title: " or "Description: ", even if only one of the boxes is utilized. And why the " - " in between?

In PowerPoint, it automatically adds the embedded image file name to the Description field. There is no option (thankfully) to save as HTML, but like Word, Office 2012 is still incapable of creating accessible PDF files, so the alternative text is lost when saving as PDF.

So, Word does precisely what Andrew described as being a "bug". It doesn't appear to be a bug, but instead an indication that Microsoft has no idea how image accessibility and web standards are supposed to work.

I can't believe we still have to deal with this garbage from Microsoft. And in Office 2012! Adding a basic alt attribute to an image is not rocket science, is it?