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Alt text stands for alternative text. It’s a way for people to see and understand images when they need to use a screen reader or if the image doesn’t load properly.

The alt text appears in a blank box that would normally contain the image, or if you were to mouse-over that image, a description will appear.

When writing alternative text, think of the purpose of the image. Ask yourself these questions: Why is this image used? What message it supposed to convey? If someone read the alternative text to me without seeing the image, could I picture what it looks like?

Moz.com provides a great example of how they used image alt text for Doritos.

Here’s an example of non-descriptive alt text versus descriptive alt text:

Non-Descriptive: Cancilla or Photo of Devon

Descriptive: A professional headshot of Vice Provost, Devon Cancilla

If you want to learn more about Alternative Text, you can visit our accessibility website.