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Re: ALT Text - CMS Problem


From: Bevi Chagnon | PubCom
Date: Apr 15, 2011 3:27PM

This has been a very informative and interesting discussion.

One thought that keeps cropping up for me as I refer back to the original
If the images are going into a CMS, why not put a decent ALT text on all of

Images in a CMS (or DAM or whatever you want to call your storage database),
will be used for different purposes over time. If all images in the CMS have
good ALT text, then the user can determine whether to keep it or "null" it
depending upon how the image is used in the document.

I don't think any image in a CMS should ever get a null/decorative/artifact
A CMS is just a storage dump and you can't foresee how the image will be
used on a website or in a document.

Sometimes the same graphic will be used for critical information, other
times as decorative window dressing. If the full ALT text is there in the
image's metadata in the CMS, then it travels with the image and the
designer/writer has the choice of whether to use it or override it with a
"null" or "artifact" attribute.

However, this system requires:
1. The CMS has a place for ALT text metadata.
2. The metadata will travel with the image and when the image is placed in
MS Word, InDesign or in HTML, for example, the metadata will automatically
populate the appropriate fields.

Of course, this is a pipedream workflow at this stage of the industry!

— Bevi Chagnon

Bevi Chagnon / PubCom
Government publishing specialists, trainers, consultants
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