WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

RE: Alt Text for Decorative Linked Graphics


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Jul 27, 2006 10:50AM

On Thu, 27 Jul 2006, Moore, Michael wrote:

> The alt text should say where the link is going. Thus the magician's hat
> should say "tips and tricks" and the eighth note should say
> "personalize." :)

Quite right. (I won't comment on the word "personalize", which is really
jargon-like and not necessarily accessibility. If the site uses that word,
then surely it should be used as the alt text of a link too.)

> Now if the anchor is wrapped around both the image and a text link that
> says where the link is going, you can use alt="".

Such an approach is actually preferable. It is better to write

<a href="personalize.html"><img src="note.gif" alt=""

(using an image and a word together as a link)


<a href="personalize.html"><img src="note.gif" alt="Personalize"></a>

(using only an image as a link)


<a href="personalize.html"><img src="note.gif" alt="Personalize"></a>
<a href="personalize.html">Personalize</a>

(using an image and a word as separate links to the same destination).

The reason is that an image and an associated text are often more helpful
than an image alone, and making them two separate links could confuse
people and would make navigation with keyboard a little less convenient
(since the other link would be redundant).

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/