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Re: MS Word Alt Description - is this new?


From: JP Jamous
Date: Oct 4, 2017 9:20AM

No it is not new. It has always been under "FormatAlt". The only difference is that in the latest version of Word, they made it visible to users who do not know about a11y.

It is also found in PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of John E. Brandt
Sent: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 9:35 AM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: [WebAIM] MS Word Alt Description - is this new?

I was just preparing some training documents for a presentation on accessible PDFs. Using the latest version of MS Word in MSO365, I noticed that when I added an image/picture there was a space superimposed on the image showing a "suggested Alt description." When I clicked on it, it brought up a dialog box that says: "How would you describe this picture and its contents to someone who is blind? (1 - 2 sentences recommended). Then it gives that recommended Alt description (not very sophisticated, I might add) which you can edit.

I've posted the screenshots in the following links.


This is new to me. When did Microsoft start doing this?

I suspect it is associated with MSO365 and is using some AI from the Cloud.
Will investigate further to see if it is in the Mac version and other MSO apps.


John E. Brandt



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