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 6 - Alt text for all img elements is not placeholder 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 'pending'.

WCAG2 Guideline

Guideline: 1.1 - Provide text alternatives for all non-text content.
Success Criteria: 1. For all non-text content that is used to convey information, text alternatives identify the non-text content and convey the same information. For multimedia , provide a text-alternative that identifies the multimedia. Refer to guideline 1.2 for requirements for synchronized alternatives for multimedia. How to provide text alternatives for content that conveys information . (Informative)

Level 1

The WCAG2 has 3 priority levels for making Web content accessible. This test has a priority of 'Level 1'.


The WCAG Working Group has created techniques that describe how Web content may be made accessible. The following techniques are 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 and compare its alt attribute value to the list of placeholder values.
  2. alt attribute placeholder values are: 'nbsp', 'spacer' and src attribute value (filename).

Expected Results

  1. Alt text for all img elements is not placeholder text or user has confirmed that the Alt text is appropriate.

Fail Instructions

  1. Change the alt attribute value or confirm that current value is appropriate for the associated image.

Pass Instructions

The following tests are related to this test and may be performed next. There is no requirement that these tests be performed:

  1. Alt text for all img elements used as source anchors is not empty when there is no other text in the anchor.

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!