[thelist] alt and title

James Aylard evolt at pixelwright.com
Wed Nov 6 11:13:00 CST 2002


>   Should the alt text and the title text be the same?

    Typically, the alt attribute should be descriptive, whereas the title
attribute should be instructive.
    The purpose of the alt attribute is, imo, much more clearly defined, and
is intended primarily to provide an alternative description of an image in
user agents which do not display graphics (such as Lynx or screen readers
for the blind) or in which graphics are turned off (or in graphics-enabled
UAs where the graphics have not yet downloaded). Although browsers typically
display(ed) the alt attribute as a tool tip, this behavior has never been
defined in any standard and many newer browsers no longer do this.
    The title attribute has broader application (it is an attribute of
virtually all elements) and its purpose is less-well defined. It can be used
to instruct or amplify, and most modern user agents display it as a tooltip.

James Aylard

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