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What To Put In Alt Text

What to Put in Alt Text: A Guide for Intermediate Users

Alt text, or alternative text, is a brief description of an image or piece of multimedia content that can’t be accessed by individuals who are visually impaired or using a screen reader. It’s an essential element of web accessibility, and it’s crucial that you include it in every image you upload to your website or blog. But what exactly should you include in your alt text? In this guide, we’ll explore some best practices for writing effective alt text so that your content is accessible to everyone.

1. Be Descriptive: When you’re writing alt text, it’s important to be as descriptive as possible. Your alt text should accurately convey what the image is about and what its purpose is on the page. If the image is a product photo, include the product name, model number, and any distinguishing features. If it’s a chart or graph, include the title and a brief description of what information it conveys. Avoid using generic phrases like “image of” or “picture of,” as they don’t provide any meaningful information about the content.

2. Be Concise: While it’s important to be descriptive, you also want to keep your alt text as concise as possible. Screen readers generally read alt text aloud, so if your description is too long, it can be difficult for users to follow along. Aim for a maximum of 125 characters (or about 20 words) for each image. If you need to include more detailed information, consider adding it to the surrounding text on the page.

3. Be Contextual: Finally, it’s important to consider the context of the image when writing alt text. If the image is decorative (i.e., it doesn’t convey any important information), mark it as such using an empty alt attribute. If the image is part of a larger set (like a slideshow or gallery), include additional information in your alt text to help users understand its place in the sequence. And if the image includes text, be sure to include that text in your alt description so that users can understand its meaning and importance.

In conclusion, alt text is an essential component of web accessibility, and it’s important to take the time to write effective, descriptive descriptions for every image on your website or blog. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your content is accessible to everyone and that you’re doing your part to create an inclusive online environment.

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