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Bug 22791 - Alt text for charts, graphs etc should (when sensible) state what the graphic is
Summary: Alt text for charts, graphs etc should (when sensible) state what the graphic is
Alias: None
Product: HTML WG
Classification: Unclassified
Component: HTML5 spec (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: PC Linux
: P2 minor
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: steve faulkner
QA Contact: HTML WG Bugzilla archive list
Keywords: a11y, CR
Depends on:
Reported: 2013-07-24 06:45 UTC by Mallory
Modified: 2014-01-16 15:12 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:


Description Mallory 2013-07-24 06:45:10 UTC
In,-diagrams,-graphs,-maps,-illustrations there are examples of different kinds of images. The recommended alt text for pie charts clearly state "Pie chart" but none of the other image types state their type.

The results of the first and second WebAIM screen reader user studies (2008, 2009) showed a preference among survey takers for alt text to mention what kind of graphic it refers to [1] [2], possibly because the alt text in those particular questions already lack context. That's not to say everyone always wants graphics labeled, but that context of a graphic likely matters to many relying on alt text.

This makes sense for context reasons: say students are discussing a page in an online textbook containing 2 bar graphs and 1 pie chart, all showing different aspects of the same subject. With the context of what kind of graphic available, the students can more easily refer to the graphics by type, or search by type. Not only is the information in the graphic conveyed visually, but also what kind of graphic it is as well.

As the WebAIM studies caution, this doesn't mean every graphic should be labeled this way, but on a page containing multiple complex graphics I feel it should be recommended.

Comment 1 steve faulkner 2014-01-12 16:45:53 UTC
EDITOR'S RESPONSE: This is an Editor's Response to your comment. If you are
satisfied with this response, please change the state of this bug to CLOSED. If
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Status: Accepted
Change Description: added identification of chart type to alt text
Rationale: agreed with Description
Comment 2 github bugzilla bot 2014-01-12 16:47:17 UTC
Commit pushed to master at
identified chart types in alt text examples

refer to Bug 22791
Comment 3 github bugzilla bot 2014-01-16 15:12:36 UTC
Commit pushed to CR at
identified chart types in alt text examples