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Add Alternative Text Descriptions for Images (Word)

Contact the Accessible Media Coordinator

Robert Starr
Accessible Media Coordinator

Assistive Technology Initiative
MS: 6A11
Voice: 703-993-5644
Fax: 703-993-4743
rstarr@gmu.edu

Contact the IT Accessibility Coordinator

Kristine Neuber
IT Accessibility Coordinator

Assistive Technology Initiative
MS: 6A11
Voice: 703-993-9815
Fax: 703-993-4743
kneuber@gmu.edu

Have Assistive Technology Questions? Contact Us!

Jackie Servello
Assistive Technology Specialist

Assistive Technology Initiative
MS: 6A11
Voice: 703-993-4329
Fax: 703-993-4743
jservell@gmu.edu

Have questions? Contact the ATI:

Assistive Technology Initiative
MS: 6A11
Voice: 703-993-4329
Fax: 703-993-4743
ati@gmu.edu

Images, charts, and objects within documents should be described using alternative text descriptions. The alternative text (i.e., alt text) is necessary for screen reader users to interpret what information the images are intending to relay.

NOTE: Alt text only benefits screen reader users. To provide additional understanding for individuals who may have learning/cognitive disabilities, insert a caption.

  • Select an image.
  • Click on the Picture tab
  • Then select Alt Text.

 

  • Enter the alt text in the Description box. (NOTE: Leave the Title blank. You only need to fill out this field if the alternative text description is long.)

 

NOTE: The Desktop version of Microsoft 365 differs slight. Click on Picture Format > Alt Text in the Ribbon toolbar. Instead of a Format Picture window, the Alt Text window opens (shown below). It includes a field for adding an alternative text description and a checkbox option that allows you to classify the image as decorative (i.e., Mark as Decorative). In other words, the image does not contain beneficial information and, therefore, can be ignored by the screen reader user.