What is Alternative Text (Alt Text)?

Alternative text, or “alt text” describes the content of images, graphs and charts. It should be added to every image that conveys meaning in instructional and communications materials including word processing documents, and slide presentations.

Who does it impact?

There are two groups of people you need to consider when using or creating images in digital content: those who can see them and those who can't. 

It may seem obvious that you'll need to provide the information in an alternative format for people who can't see your visuals—those who are blind or visually impaired. 

Users implementing screen reading software rely on Alt tags and Title tags to convey and images meaning and purpose. 

If you don't include alternative text with an image, a visually impaired person or user who disables image loading or encounters a broken image won't know what the image is meant to convey.


Adding Alternate text (Alt text) in Drupal. 

In the main ul.ie template when adding an image there will be a field to add Alt text .

You may have to add the image first to see the fields.

Choosing images

Only choose good quality, relevant images that add to or support the text content you're working on. 

What to put in an ALT tag and Title Tag of images. 

Alt Tags should describe the image and the purpose of the image with in the context of the page it is on. 

A useful way to determine Alt Text is to imagine that you’re reading the web page aloud over the phone to someone. This will help you decide what purpose (if any) the images have.

Usually, you don't need to include words like “image”, “icon”, or “picture” in the alt text, eg: Image of campus.

Screen readers announce the presence of an image, and people who can see will see it is an image.

In certain situations, it may be important to distinguish between paintings, photographs, or illustrations. 

It's also worth remembering to keep the amount of characters in an ALT tag to under 100 characters.

Remember to use a full stop at the end of alt text so that the screen reader pauses before continuing to the rest of the content on the page.


It is recommended that you do not use "UL" in ALT or title fields. 

A modern screen reader will read UL as UL as in Hull. It is recommended to use University of Limerick or "U.L". 

A handy list of tips and trick for alt tags. and an alt Tag Decision Tree to help you add your alt tag. 

Image types

Explore the tiles below for demonstrations on how to provide appropriate text alternatives based on the purpose of the image.