Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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F39: Failure of Success Criterion 1.1.1 due to providing a text alternative that is not null. (e.g., alt="spacer" or alt="image") for images that should be ignored by assistive technology


Applies to HTML and XHTML.

This failure relates to:


This describes a failure condition for text alternatives for images that should be ignored by AT. If there is no alt attribute at all assistive technologies are not able to ignore the non-text content. The alt attribute must be proved and have a null value (i.e., alt="" or alt=" ") to avoid a failure of this Success Criterion.

Note: Although alt=" " is valid, alt="" is recommended.



No resources available for this technique.

(none currently listed)



  1. Identify any img and applet elements that are used for purely decorative content;

  2. Check that the alt attribute for these elements exists.

  3. Check that the alt attribute for these elements is null.

Expected Results