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Length of Alt Tags

for

From: Rachel
Date: Dec 10, 2002 5:36PM


Jukka Korpela recommends that alt tags be under 50
characters (see
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/alt.html#length).
I think Jakob Nielsen recommends a limit of 64
characters or 10 words.

QUESTION:

Is there any practical reason why we can?t use longer
alt tags? Other than the reason that it may not be
aesthetically pleasing (i.e. in visual browsers with
images turned off or when a visual user gets a tooltip
on mouseover)?

On the disability.gov home page, for example, the alt
tag for Banner-quote.gif is 156 characters long (25
words). Are there any problems with this?

If not, then could an alt tag conceivably even be
used, instead of a long description, for graphics that
require an extensive description?

Thanks,
Rachel Sengers


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