Web accessibility tutorials Guidance on how to create websites that meet WCAG
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A simple alt decision tree

Status: This is an in-progress, unapproved draft.

  • Is the complete content of a link or button defined by this image (or multiple images)?
    • Yes: Use the alt attribute to communicate the destination of the link or action taken. See Functional Images.
    • No: Continue.
  • Does this image contain text?
    • Yes, and the text in the image is also present as real text nearby. The alt attribute should be empty.
    • Yes, and the text is only shown for visual effects. The alt attribute should be empty.
    • Yes, 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.
  • Does the image contribute meaning to the current page or context?
    • Yes, and it’s a simple graphic or photograph. The alt attribute should briefly describe the image in a way that conveys that meaning. See Informative Images.
    • Yes, and it’s a graph or complex piece of information. Include the information contained in the image elsewhere on the page. See Complex Images.
    • Yes, and it shows content that is redundant to real text nearby. The alt attribute should be empty. 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.