Accessible Word Image Description

Adding Alternative Text Description to Images in a Word Document

Word is a user-friendly word processing application that is used on a daily basis to create manuals, brochures, flyers, reports, notes, white papers, case studies. One of the essential step to make your word document accessible to all is by providing alternate text description to the images in your word document. Screen readers cannot analyze and determine what an image is trying to convey in a document. Alternative text or description to an image are read out by screen readers and assist people with visual disabilities to understand the context.

At 247 Accessible Documents, when we remediate a document, we ensure that all the images have alt text description to ensure they are accessible and usable to people with disabilities.

How to provide alt text description in Word:

  • Open the word document and right click on the image and select ‘Format Picture’.
  • Select ‘Layout and Properties’ icon and click on ‘ALT TEXT’.
  • Provide a title (optional) and a succinct description.Screenshot of providing alt text to an image in a word document

Things to remember while determining Alternative Text Description for images:

  • The Alternative Description for an image is strongly based on the context of the document rather than its appearance.
  • It is important to provide short but clear alternative description to all the images in your document.
  • Avoid using image watermarks. If it can’t be avoided, include information elsewhere in document, e.g., document or section title.
  • Avoid including phrases like “image of…,” “table of…,” or “link to…” while writing alternative text for images.
  • Ensure accurate grammar and punctuations.

For more details on Alternative Text you can refer to WebAIM website. If you need additional support to make your word documents accessible, use the 247 Self Service Portal to upload your documents and receive accessible word documents or contact our account manager for Managed Document Remediation Services to set up a customized offering.

By Ramya Venkitesh

Head - Accessibility New Initiatives, Actively involved in formulating new ideas to create Innovative Accessible Solutions across all Disabilities.

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