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An alt Decision Tree

  • Does the image contain text?
    • Yes:
      • … and the text in the image is also present as real text nearby. Use an empty alt attribute.
      • … and the text is only shown for visual effects. Use an empty alt attribute.
      • … and the text in the image is not present otherwise. Use the alt attribute to include the text of the image. See Images of Text.
    • No:
      • Continue.
  • Is the image used in a link or a button, and would it be hard or impossible to understand what the link or the button does, if the image wasn’t there?
    • Yes:
      • Use the alt attribute to communicate the destination of the link or action taken. See Functional Images.
    • No:
      • Continue.
  • Does the image contribute meaning to the current page or context?
    • Yes:
      • … and it’s a simple graphic or photograph. Use a brief description of the image in a way that conveys that meaning in the alt attribute. See Informative Images.
      • … and it’s a graph or complex piece of information. Include the information contained in the image elsewhere on the page. See Complex Images.
      • … and it shows content that is redundant to real text nearby. Use an empty alt attribute. See Functional Images.
    • No:
      • Continue.
  • Is the image purely decorative or not intended for the user?
  • Is the image’s use not listed above or it’s unclear what alt text to provide?
    • This decision tree does not cover all cases. For detailed information on the provision of text alternatives refer to the Image Concepts Page.