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Information Systems Department

Information Management Division - Web Standards

Add Descriptive Text to Images

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Alternative text

Alternative text provides a textual alternative to non-text content in web pages and PDFs. Screen readers cannot analyze an image and determine what the image presents.

Alternative text serves several functions:

  • It is read by screen readers in place of images allowing the content and function of the image to be accessible to all.
  • It is displayed in place of the image in browsers if the image file is not loaded or when the user has chosen not to view images.
  • It provides a description to the Image which can be read by search engines.

Open the Touch up Reading Order Tool; Highlight the image; choose Figure; right click the image and Edit Alternate Text by adding descriptive text.

declare an image in Adobe Acrobat

edit alternative text

Every image must have an alternate information. Images without an attribute are inaccessible.

Decorative Image

If the image is purely decorative it can be declared background. 

Open the Touch up Reading Order Tool. Highlight the decorative image and select Background.

Declare an image as background in a PDF