[thelist] alt tags on all images (was Site Check)

MRC webmaster at equilon-mrc.com
Wed Nov 7 12:48:18 CST 2001


> alt="" is a nasty hack, and by using it, a designer is saying "this image
> doesn't need alt text" - isn't it a fallacy to say that this is okay, and
> yet it's not okay to leave the alt off altogether? The result is exactly
> the same.

    Actually, using alt="" is not a hack at all -- the W3C itself actually
recommends the practice:

"Do not specify irrelevant alternate text when including images intended to
format a page, for instance, alt="red ball" would be inappropriate for an
image that adds a red ball for decorating a heading or paragraph. In such
cases, the alternate text should be the empty string (""). Authors are in
any case advised to avoid using images to format pages; style sheets should
be used instead." [1]

    The only drawbacks with it that I see are that 1) it requires a small
amount of additional coding effort, and 2) it adds 7 bytes to each image

James Aylard

1. http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/objects.html#adef-alt

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