E-mail List Archives

Re: Null ALT in Office


From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: May 29, 2013 9:31AM

Pratik, that's true, and the interface in Word 2010 might even depend on whether you're editing a 2007 .docx versus a 2010 .docx. (I haven't tested that carefully.)

In Office 2007, the place for adding alt text was generally under "Size," but as I recall it did vary based on the type of item. Pictures were different from Clip Art which were different from Charts which were different from… and so on.

And before I said to put an empty space between the quotes—I think I'm recalling Word 2007 or even 2003, where just an empty space (no quotes) was the kludgy fix. In Word 2010 (all of Office 2010), it's two double quotes—""—just as Jukka said.

Which, of course, doesn't get converted to the appropriate tagging when the document is saved as either HTML or PDF. And that's why I consider this method to be not just an afterthought, as Jukka has noted, but also a hack.

To further the complications, Word for Mac OS has a different code base, which is not a bad thing in itself. But Microsoft gives that as the reason that alt text is not supported at all in Office 2008 for Mac. (I don't know about later versions.)

Indeed, I haven't yet heard of a word processor for Mac OS that does offer the ability to associate alt text with illustrations.