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Re: Null ALT in Office


From: Whitney Quesenbery
Date: May 29, 2013 5:48PM

Office 2011 + a maintenance release was the first version to support alt
text. It's pretty consistent, in the US version: right click on any sort of
object and you get a format option, and Alt Text is the last item in the
format pane menu.

I've never been cheered when I told a training class that they needed an
update before, but in one case, someone was thrilled because they finally
had a strong reason why they absolutely positively had to have the new

Now, if they would just make the Mac versions produce tagged PDF files.

On Wed, May 29, 2013 at 11:31 AM, Cliff Tyllick < <EMAIL REMOVED> >wrote:

> 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.
> Cliff
> > From: Pratik Patel < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:07 AM
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Null ALT in Office
> Here is another wrinkle in the Word alt attribute story. You will notice
> that the menu item is different depending on whether you're editing the
> older .doc type document or the newer .docx type document.
> -----Original Message-----
> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Jukka K.
> Korpela
> Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:03 AM
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Null ALT in Office
> 2013-05-29 15:20, Whitney Quesenbery wrote:
> > 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
> When I wrote about selecting "size", it was actually based on
> back-translating from the Finnish text in the version of MS Word 2007
> I'm using, in a situation where I had inserted an image from a file.
> This could be a localization difference. But in the same version, if I
> add e.g. a ClipArt image, then the contextual menu (right-click menu)
> does not have a "size" entry, but it has a "format" entry (well, the
> Finnish language equivalent).
> So MS Office isn't very consistent in the way the alt text can be added.
> And in both of these cases, this function is in a menu that otherwise
> deals with the visual appearance of the image (and is named according to
> that). I think this is because adding alt text has been added as an
> afterthought rather than a well-planned feature.
> Yucca
> > > >
> > > > > > >

Whitney Quesenbery
www.wqusability.com | @whitneyq

Storytelling for User Experience

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