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Captions and Alt-text

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From: Chagnon | PubCom
Date: Feb 28, 2013 2:06PM


We've discussed Captions versus Alt-text before on the list and generally I
agree that the 2 should be different. Captions can say anything that the
author wants to say and not necessarily describe the action in or purpose of
the graphic itself. Alt-text describes the action depicted in the graphic.

We have a client's 500+ page reference guide with 300+ photos of specimens.
Their formal captions are technical and describe each specimen.

Normally we would have very simple Alt-text like "Photo, ABC specimen." And
let the caption do its job of describing the details.

But this project was laid out in Adobe InDesign, which has a tragic
shortcoming: items that are placed inside separate text frames (like
captions) do not get tagged correctly in the exported PDF, so we end up
fixing the tags by hand in Acrobat.

Doing this for 300+ photos would be several days' worth of work.

So I'm wondering if this workaround would really work for AT users:

1) Copy the caption text into the Alt-Text tag, and

2) Artifact the caption itself so that AT-users don't voice it twice.

Thanks for your ideas?

-Bevi

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