Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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H67: Using null alt text and no title attribute on img elements for images that AT should ignore


HTML and XHTML documents that load images.

This technique relates to:


The purpose of this technique is to show how images can be marked so that they can be ignored by Assistive Technology.

If no title attribute is used, and the alt text is set to null (i.e. alt="") it indicates to assistive technology that the image can be safely ignored.

Note: Have a "null" alt attribute is not the same as having no alt attribute.


Example 1

The following image is used to insert a decorative image on a Web page.

Example Code:

<img src="squiggle.gif" width="20" height="20" alt="" />


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For each image that should be ignored.

  1. Check that title attribute is either absent or empty.

  2. Check that alt attribute is present and empty or contains only whitespace (but not &nbsp;)

Expected Results

If this is a sufficient technique for a success criterion, failing this test procedure does not necessarily mean that the success criterion has not been satisfied in some other way, only that this technique has not been successfully implemented and can not be used to claim conformance.

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.