Techniques for WCAG 2.0

Skip to Content (Press Enter)


F30: Failure of Success Criterion 1.1.1 and 1.2.1 due to using text alternatives that are not alternatives (e.g., filenames or placeholder text)


Applies to all technologies.

This failure relates to:


This describes a failure condition for all techniques involving text alternatives. If the text in the "text alternative" cannot be used in place of the non-text content without losing information or function then it fails because it is not, in fact, an alternative to the non-text content.


Failure Example 1

Examples of text that are not text alternatives include:

  • placeholder text such as " " or "spacer" or "image" or "picture" etc that are put into the 'text alternative' location on images or pictures.

  • programming references that do not convey the information or function of the non-text content such as "picture 1", "picture 2" or "0001", "0002" or "Intro#1", "Intro#2".

  • filenames that are not valid text alternatives in their own right such as "Oct.jpg" or "Chart.jpg" or "sales\\oct\\top3.jpg"


No resources available for this technique.

(none currently listed)



  1. Check each text alternative to see if it is not actually a text alternative for the non-text content.

Expected Results

Techniques are Informative

Techniques are informative—that means they are not required. The basis for determining conformance to WCAG 2.0 is the success criteria from the WCAG 2.0 standard—not the techniques. For important information about techniques, please see the Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria section of Understanding WCAG 2.0.