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Adding Alternate Text

Viewers using devices such as screen readers have the contents of the document read aloud. If there are non text elements in the document such as images, the screen reader can’t interpret the objects, and the user misses out on some of your information. One of the most common errors in creating accessible content is omitting a text description of objects such as images. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest errors to correct. You can attach alternate text to these objects to make them readable. The good thing is that although a picture tells a thousand words, you don’t need nearly that many to use as alternate text! Alternate text for Diane’s figures should describe the contents of the image, such as “Copy of the Helping Hands logo used next to the page title.”

In the settings Diane chose for the Accessibility Full Check, she specified that Acrobat include comments in the document identifying the errors. Move the pointer over the comment icon next to one of the images to display the comment (Figure 8.15). The comment’s text explains how the alternate text is used by people working with assistive devices.


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