How to make Images Accessible? #
Images are a really great instructional resource, but what if the student can’t see the image?
Luckily we have a couple tricks we can do to make images accessible. The minimum requirement is that all images have alt text (or alternative text), which is a piece of code that provides a description to users who cannot see the image.
For complex images, we might have to use surrounding text, which is just simply text in the body of the document or page that describes the image in greater detail.
Alt text and surrounding text (if needed) should provide:
- Context – What is the image of? Why is it important? What instructional objective or concept should the student gain from this image? Keep in mind this will depend on the image itself as well as how it is used. For example, a painting of Napoleon might have different alt text in a history course versus what it would have in a painting class. Always go back to why you are using the image, and what learning objective it is accomplishing.
- Function – Is the image a link? Or does clicking on the image do an action?
How to add alt text in Microsoft Office? #
To add alternative text to images in your office documents, left-click on an image to select it. Then, if you’re on the desktop version of a Microsoft Office product, click on the “Picture Format” tab. If you’re on the online or web versions of Microsoft Office, this tab will be called “Picture”. Next, click on the “Alt Text” button.
This will open up the Alt Text pane where you can add in a descriptive text for your image. Remember, this is for users who are visually impaired, so you want to be descriptive, but to the point. The Web version of Microsoft Office Products has a Title field, but this is optional. You only need to enter alt text into the Description field.
Note: the Desktop Version of Microsoft Office has a “Generate alt text for me” button, but this is often non-descriptive or the AI has trouble recognizing what’s in the image. Entering in your own alt text is best practice.
Close the pane when you’re done to save the alt text and continue working.
Example of Surrounding Text #
The following is an example of an image that has surrounding text and alt text, remember the alt text is normally invisible:
|Image with Surrounding Text and Alt Text|
Keep in mind, your surrounding text and ALT Text should always focus on the learning objective or why you are using the image.
Video Overview #
The following video from Microsoft, discusses about how to create accessible images in documents:
© Microsoft Corporation
If you have questions, please contact PPSC eLearning by email at eLearning@pikespeak.edu