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Re: Specifying empty alt text in A-Prompt


From: Jared Smith
Date: Oct 28, 2003 11:33AM

One approach is to add a sting such as "XXXXX" for each image that
should have empty ("") alt text. When you're done, do a global find
and replace in your code for that string and replace it with nothing.
This is also useful for users of Dreamweaver 4 or earlier, which did
not allow empty alt text. For people that are not comfortable getting
into the code to edit alt attributes, this provides an easy way in
which to make images with empty alt text. However, if not done
correctly, the results could be worse than having no alt attribute at

Jared Smith
WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind)
Center for Persons with Disabilities
Utah State University

On Tuesday, October 28, 2003 you sent:
JKK> As many people probably know, A-Prompt is one of the best available tools
JKK> for automatic testing of some accessibility issues as well as fixing some
JKK> problems as they are detected. Unfortunately it seems that the software is
JKK> not under any development or maintenance. (It's available for free from
JKK> http://aprompt.snow.utoronto.ca/ )

JKK> Now, while writing some instructions for using it, I noticed that I cannot
JKK> find a way to specify an empty alt text, alt="", when fixing a page with
JKK> A-Prompt. It refuses to accept a change if I specify nothing in the text
JKK> box for alt text. What I am currently suggesting is the use of a space and
JKK> either leaving it at that (since alt=" " seldom causes problems when
JKK> alt="" would have be the most adequate choice) or fixing alt=" " later
JKK> using one's favorite authoring problem.

JKK> But is there a simpler way? The documentation of A-Prompt clearly mentions
JKK> that alt="" is often adequate, so its authors clearly did not
JKK> _mean_ to prevent specifying an empty alt text.


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