This is a DRAFT resource that supports Working Drafts of WCAG 3. Content in this resource is not mature and should not be considered authoritative. It may be changed, replaced or removed at any time.


🔙 WCAG 3.0 (Silver) Guidelines (Text alternatives)

Method: Author control of text alternatives


Authoring tools create digital content that allow images to be inserted in the content. Examples include:

  • web page authoring tools (e.g. WYSIWYG HTML editors)
  • software for directly editing source code
  • software for converting to web content technologies (e.g. Save as HTML features in office document applications)
  • integrated development environments (e.g. for web application development)
  • software that generates web content on the basis of templates, scripts, command-line input or wizard-type processes
  • software for rapidly updating portions of web pages (e.g. blogging, wikis, online forums)
  • software for generating/managing entire websites (e.g. content management systems, courseware tools, content aggregators)
  • email clients that send messages using web content technologies
  • multimedia authoring tools
  • software for creating mobile web applications

Note: This method only applies when non-text content is specified by authors (e.g. inserting an image). When non-text content is automatically added by the authoring tool, see ATAG 2.0 Guideline B.1.1.

Note: An exception can be made when the non-text content is known to be decoration, formatting, invisible or a CAPTCHA.


  • Any


Improperly generated text alternative content can create accessibility problems and interfere with accessibility checking. Authors need the ability to add and edit text alternative content to more closely describe the image in context, or to mark it as decorative.

This method illustrates that Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 can be included in WCAG 3.0. Much of the material in this method has been adapted directly from ATAG 2.0 without attempting to update it from 2015.

How it solves user need

The text alternative describes the image for people who are unable to see the image itself. When the authoring tool gives the author the ability to edit the text alternative, it can increase the accuracy of the alternative text to suit the context that the author wants to illustrate.


first draft

Change Log

  • first draft - from ATAG 2.0 (2020-09-19)
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