Alt Text

What is alt text?

Alt text is used by screen readers and other assistive technology to relay what is on the web page to the user.

Why do I need to use alt text?

Using alt text makes your site  more accessible and it is the law. Failing to provide alt text could put the organization at risk of lawsuit. (For more information about these regulations grab some popcorn and take a look at Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 )

What makes good alt text?

Good alt text contains an accurate, concise description of the image or picture. Good alt text does not contain the phrase “an image of ” or “a picture  of “. For example,”Image of a smiling man” is not good alt text.   You should also avoid using images of text because images of text are not accessible by screen readers.

Jerry Apps quote "Attention to detail makes all the difference, whether it's plowing a field, building a fence,or teaching a calf to drink out of a pail."

This can’t be read by a screen reader because it is a picture.

Although there is some room for interpretation and nuance, you don’t want to go overboard with descriptive language. Good alt text should convey what the content of the image is and what it does.

 

“Man in a blue shirt with salmon shorts sitting next to woman with fringe dress and braided hair” may describe the image below  but is not a good example of alt text.

Family sitting on hay bales at fair.

 

A better use of alt text would be to express the content of the picture not to just describe what everyone is wearing. For example “Families take a break on hay bales at the Lorem County Fair”

Families sitting on hay bales.

 

How to add alt text

When you upload image to page or post  the image details screen appears. In this screen you must enter a Title and Alternative text. You can also enter alt text for existing image by editing them in media library (For step by step instructions look at our article Adding and Editing Images.)

What if I want to add alt text to all of the images in my media library? That will take forever!

You are in luck! We have a bulk alt text editor that allows you to group you images and edit them at the same time!

In Your Dashboard go to Media -> Add Alt Text

You can select all the images uploaded by all users or just the images uploaded by yourself that do not have alt text. You can see 10 at a time.
Enter the missing alt text in the box under the image and click the Save Alt Text button when you are done.

 

Add alt text tool