Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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F30: Failure of Success Criterion 1.1.1 and 1.2.1 due to using text alternatives that are not alternatives (e.g., filenames or placeholder text)


Applies to all technologies.

This failure relates to:


This describes a failure condition for all techniques involving text alternatives. If the text in the "text alternative" cannot be used in place of the non-text content without losing information or function then it fails because it is not, in fact, an alternative to the non-text content.


Failure Example 1

Examples of text that are not text alternatives include:

  • placeholder text such as " " or "spacer" or "image" or "picture" etc that are put into the 'text alternative' location on images or pictures.

  • programming references that do not convey the information or function of the non-text content such as "picture 1", "picture 2" or "0001", "0002" or "Intro#1", "Intro#2".

  • filenames that are not valid text alternatives in their own right such as "Oct.jpg" or "Chart.jpg" or "sales\\oct\\top3.jpg"


No resources available for this technique.

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  1. Check each text alternative to see if it is not actually a text alternative for the non-text content.

Expected Results