alt Alternative Text

Word or phrase that serves as a textual alternative for the element.


Provides, for the elements on which it is allowed, the same type of service for pronouncing screen readers and other accessibility software as the element <alt-text> provides for graphics and other objects. This attribute contains a word or phrase used to provide a very short textual alternative to a component such as an abbreviation or cross-reference. The content of the attribute can be used for special accessibility presentation, to differentiate, for example, as part of an <abbrev>, that the WHO should not be pronounced as the “who”, but rather pronounced as the “W.H.O.” or as the “World Health Organization”.

Accessibility Best Practice

Please reserve this attribute for accessibility uses such as pronouncing screen readers. For example, it could be used to provide a textual interpretation of an emoticon (for example, “wink, frown” for the emoticon “ ;-( ”).
OPTIONAL on many elements; click for list and usage
Value Meaning
Text, numbers, or special characters Simple textual words or phrases provided as a textual alternative to its element, for example, a phrase to be pronounced by screen readers.
Restriction This is an optional attribute; there is no default.
Tagged Sample

Alternative pronunciation for an acronym

 <p>Replacement of the DoD Index of Specifications and 
  Standards (<abbrev>DoDISS</abbrev>) with the Acquisition 
  Streamlining and Standardization Information System 
  (<abbrev alt="A.S.S.I.S.T.">ASSIST</abbrev>) database.</p>
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