Alt text (short for "alternative text") is the text that a screen reader will read out loud when an image, graphic or table is encountered on the page.
View an example of an alt text description as read by a screen reader.
Alt text might also be referred to as an "alt tag," "alt attribute" or image description.
Figure 1, screenshot of an image and alt text field in Word.
Note: Depending on the tool/software you are using, you may be presented with a field for "title" and/or "description" for entering alt text. Regardless of the tool/software, always use the description field for entering alt text.
Alt text allows screen readers to read information about images out loud to blind and visually impaired readers. Alternative text is necessary so that students who are blind or visually impaired can still access the information provided by an image.
On a website like eCampus, the alt text also appears in place of the image if it fails to load due to a slow connection speed or other issues.
Learn how to add alt text in several common applications.