This is a draft document supplied by the WCAG Techniques Task Force. It in no way represents a WCAG Working Group consensus or agreement and is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. The accessibility test listed below should not be construed as required for conformance with the proposed WCAG2.

HTML Test Suite for WCAG 2.0
Test 5 - Important images should not have spacer Alt text.

W3C Editor's Draft 2005-08-11

Chris Ridpath, ATRC, University Of Toronto
Jenae Andershonis, Microsoft Inc.


This test case was created by the ATRC at the University Of Toronto. It should not be construed as required for conformance with the proposed WCAG2.

The complete list of tests may be found at http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/tests/

Comments on this test may be made to the WCAG mailing list.

Status Of This Test

As part of the conformance test process, this test has a status of 'unconfirmed'.

WCAG2 Guideline

This test is not required for conformance to the current WCAG2. It is provided for discussion and informational purposes only.


There are no techniques related to this test.

Prerequisite Tests

The following tests must be run before running this test. If any of the prerequisite tests fail then this test is invalid and should not be run.

Test Process


  1. Check each img element that has width and height attribute values that are both greater than 25.
  2. View the alt attribute value for the img element.

Expected Results

  1. The alt attribute value is expected to contain one or more characters that are not whitespace characters.

Fail Instructions

  1. If the alt attribute value is whitespace then either add an appropriate alt attribute value or confirm that current empty value is appropriate for the associated image.

Pass Instructions

Any accessibility check may be performed after this test.

Test Files

These test files contain examples of the accessibility problem detectable by this test. They may also contain more accessibility problems than the one described in this test. Please ignore any extraneous accessibility problems in these files.

Valid XHTML 1.0!