[thelist] Re: Accessibility and alt text - quality vs quantity

Tony Crockford tonyc at boldfish.co.uk
Wed Jan 28 12:31:48 CST 2004

On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 15:57:37 +0000, Toby Mills <toby at tobymills.com> wrote:

> It probably a bit late to say/ask this now, but why are people still 
> using
> spacer images?
> The reason I ask is because any one designing for IE5 and later should
> really be using CSS with paddings and margins. And images used only for
> styling and not to convey any content, place them as background images 
> (see
> below) which alleviates the problem of alt and title tags.

I used a spacer image as a validating solution to the lack of min-height 
in IE, that's all.  (if anyone has a valid alternative (no invalid hacks, 
please) I'd be interested to know about it)

My earlier question was not really about spacer images though, my real 
concern is the use of alt text *because we have to* when the alt text just 
confuses the issue.

I've seen many sites where the page has incidental images - they're there 
to add visual interest to an otherwise text filled page - a picture of a 
smiling person for example.

Would someone using a screen reader want a full alternative text 
description read to them when the picture is a "take it or leave it" 
visual enhancement?

My other annoyance is that everyone is so used to seeing IE tooltip the 
alt text, that when they see a title instead they get all excited about 
inadequate alt text...

Do screen readers read both title and alt text?  how do they differentiate?

Why aren't screen readers free for web designers?


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