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Re: Null ALT in Office


From: Whitney Quesenbery
Date: May 29, 2013 6:20AM

Yucca: A small correction: you don't have to select "size" but "format
picture" (or shape or object). Alt text is in the format panel in all of
the Microsoft Office products

For a set of great materials on accessible office documents (by version,
not just by product): http://adod.idrc.ocad.ca/

On Wed, May 29, 2013 at 2:50 AM, Jukka K. Korpela < <EMAIL REMOVED> >wrote:

> 2013-05-28 23:20, Karen Sorensen wrote:
> > I thought that "" created null alt text in MS Word? Am I just making that
> > up? I know the html attribute is alt="", but does that not translate into
> > putting "" in the description field of the Alt window in Word 2010?
> I was at first a bit puzzled: I did not know you can create alt texts in
> Word. And this feature is oddly hidden in the user interface: you need
> to right-click an image and then select "Size"!
> Using "" there, with the quotation marks literally included, results in
> using that two-character string literally. When you Save as HTML, you
> get alt="&quot;&quot;", which is not what you want. The same probably
> happens when saving in other formats.
> Using an empty string, i.e. deleting the default string (taken from
> image file name) and writing nothing instead, results in no alt
> attribute in HTML.
> Some other authoring tools have the same (mis)feature: they just cannot
> distinguish lack of alternative text from an empty alternative text.
> I guess the best workaround is to type in a space character. This
> results in alt=" ", which is of course distinct from alt="", but mostly
> the difference does not matter. Usually alt="" is (properly) used for
> decorative images that have no message that could reasonably be
> presented in text, and it tells user agents to ignore the img tag if the
> image is not rendered. Telling user agents to use a space is technically
> different, but should mostly have the same effect.
> Theoretically, it might be argued that if you cannot make the
> alternative text empty, you should set it to a zero-width character,
> such as U+200B ZERO WIDTH SPACE, but entering it is nontrivial (though
> possible) in Word, and who knows how it might affect different user
> agents in reality? (U+0000 NULL might seem appropriate at character
> level, but it isn't even allowed in HTML.)
> Yucca
> > > >

Whitney Quesenbery
www.wqusability.com | @whitneyq

Storytelling for User Experience

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