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Question about Title tag and Alt text tags.

can screenreaders see the ALT text?

     

skunker

6:55 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If an image has both the TITLE and ALT attributes associated with it, does the TITLE tag take precedence over the ALT text? I ask because I am using a wordpress site that has both the tags associated with an image and when I hover over the image in IE, FF, Chrome, etc, I see that the <title="text here"> tag displays and not the ALT text.

So, for acccessibility requirements, does this matter if the title tag shows instead of the Alt? If i turn off images, I do see the ALT tag, though.

Thanks for any clarification on this.

Hoople

7:13 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



IE6 and older show the ALT text not the TITLE on hovering over images.

Lately I have been using empty alt entries where it makes no sense to add to what a blind user hears.

The days of filling them both to rank better are gone. Recent reports of over optimization suggest ignoring ALT when using the TILE to ovide penalization.

[edited by: Hoople at 7:30 pm (utc) on Apr 18, 2012]

Andy Langton

7:19 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member andy_langton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The alt attribute is a way of describing the contents of an image to those that are unable to "see" it, visually. Any serious webmaster should be using it, and using a blank (alt="") attribute when an image does not convey anything useful, but is for decoration. You will fail pretty much every accessibility test without correct use of alt attributes. A search engine will treat a trustworthy alt attribute the same as any other text on a page.

A title attribute is intended for additional information that you may have about any element of your page (it is not related to images at all) and, to be blunt, is not something you are likely to use with any degree of frequency on a site of any size - it's just too much effort for too little reward.

That said, there is never any good reason to have an alt attribute and title that are the same. The alt is only useful to those that can't see the image!

skunker

9:09 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Can you pass the accessibility test if the ALT text does not show when you hover over an image despite it being in the code itself? As mentioned, the title tag shows during mouse over, not the Alt text despite the Alt text being there in the img src code.

I'm writing from a government agency and we are more concerned about being in compliance with "Section 508" of the Rehabilitation Act.

BeeDeeDubbleU

9:19 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I had occasion to visit a blind person at his home recently. He has an office set up with a PC, printer and screen reading software. It was quite impressive to listen to it telling him what was on the screen.

If you excuse the pun it opened my eyes to the importance of using good alt text.

lucy24

10:35 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



That said, there is never any good reason to have an alt attribute and title that are the same. The alt is only useful to those that can't see the image!

When the image is text, like a decorative header, it's appropriate to have the alt and title show the same thing.

For "those that can't see the image" read "those whose browser (or other device) doesn't display the image". Not always the same thing-- but that's what triggers the difference between alt and title :)

:: memo to self: investigate how this is handled by auto-translators ::

Hoople

11:21 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



For the websites that insist on both being present I put the 'what' in the ALT and the 'description of what' in the TITLE tag.

Andy Langton

11:43 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member andy_langton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Can you pass the accessibility test if the ALT text does not show when you hover over an image despite it being in the code itself?


Absolutely - the "popup" text is a failed implementation of an accessibility feature by internet explorer only. IMO, it has contributed to confusion about the meaning of alt attributes. Whether text appears on hover for users with a mouse is irrelevant :)

When the image is text, like a decorative header, it's appropriate to have the alt and title show the same thing.


How so? If there is text in the image it is readable to the sighted, and the alt attribute is audible to those that can't see it. Why repeat it for potentially both of those groups?

skunker

11:42 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Andy,
Thanks so much for your response about IE causing the confusion. That's EXACTLY what the problem was.

phranque

5:03 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



The Title Attribute:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/accessibility_usability/3597552.htm [webmasterworld.com]

The Title Attribute - Does Your Website Stutter?:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/accessibility_usability/4128520.htm [webmasterworld.com]