How is your Image? My Guide to Alternative Text

How is your Image? My Guide to Alternative Text

We all know images are important, right?  They break up the text, make blogs look more appealing.  But what if you can’t see the image? What if you can’t see?

My friend Sassy over at Thinking Out Loud was the first to draw my attention to this little problem.  She has written a brilliant post about being indirectly discriminated against.  Basically by not including a descriptive messages of what your picture looks like you are indirectly discriminating against the visually impaired.

I thought that it was worthy of another post to highlight its importance.  Not only is it important for the visually impaired but it also helps with your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Thumbs up all round I say.

My blogging community, are you looking after your images?

Alt Text aka Alternative Text

Alt text is the text hidden in the background of an image.  When you take a picture your camera saves it as something for example img1234. If you don’t use alt text on your blog this is generally the text that is saved.  It gives screen readers no idea what is on the picture.  Leaving the visually impaired clueless as to the subject matter.

Here are a few guides to help you add Alt Text into your blog:

On WordPress Add media screen in wordpress. A box is pointing at the section where you put the following in Title, Caption Alt Text: Your description goes here

On Blogger

Blogger Image add - Pic of a cow - instruction says add image, click on image then select properties from the list

Blogger Image properties box says Add Text and Alt Image description

On Twitter 

I had always known about adding Alt text to images on my own blog but I didn’t know about adding them on Twitter.  To do this you have to change your accessibility settings in the Twitter settings itself.  I am going to assume you will be able to work this bit out…

On a web page for Twitter it is in the settings under Accessibility

On a phone (Iphone) Settings in the cog on your profile page : Display and Sound : Accessibility

Select the option to Compose image descriptions .

When you post an image on Twitter now you get a little black box saying “add description”:

Picture of a tweet - Text says Add a picture to a tweet Click Add description on the picture Add your description

But I don’t have time!

It’s very easy to say I don’t have time to do something.  I don’t have time to exercise, I don’t have time to eat, I don’t have time to hoover… I really don’t have time to hoover.   You could say you don’t have time to insert a text description.   Make time.  I’ve been doing this for the past six months and I am not slowed down at all, it takes a minute at most to make sure they description is added to my blog post.

Are you going to change?

It’s only a small guide I am afraid and wish that there was more information out there about this out there.  I am pretty sure Facebook and YouTube have ways to add in a descriptive text but I can’t find it, If you do know then let me know.

Do you already love your Alt Text?  Will you start using it now you know about it?

 

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30 Comments

  1. Your blog post is way better than mine! You get to the point AND actually give a better description of how to do it! Thank you so much, I hope that between us we can enlighten bloggers and support the visually impaired! Big hugs and love to you! Xxxxx
    Sassy recently posted…The Last LegMy Profile

  2. I have to admit that before reading Sassy’s post a while ago I didn’t do this to the level of detail that is really necessary. I’ve been trying really hard to get better at it – sometimes it’s hard to be descriptive enough! I also had no idea about Twitter – will do much better at that from now on! Thanks so much for hosting #FamilyFun, I’m really enjoying all the posts I’ve caught so far!

    1. isntitpretty

      I used to spend ages with my photos adding filters etc when I first started blogging. I soon started to realise that my best photos are the ones that are just natural and well posed. It was a revelation and now leaves time to concentrate on the content!

  3. Pingback: How to Improve and Promote your Blog - Two Tiny Hands - Adventures with the Robot

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