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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard dominique's Avatar
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    I was just wondering what some people do faced with this problem:

    My site uses some spacer gifs mainly to prevent Netscape from collapsing table cells. Now I know that you should always include Alt tags in images, but I find it very annoying when you randomly leave your mouse on the screen and the Alt window shows up and says "Spacer".

    How have you guys solved this problems?

  2. #2
    Gong!
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    Why don't you just do:

    Code:
    <img src="image.gif" width="1" height="1" alt="" border="0">

  3. #3
    mouse monkey
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    Hi,

    Or you could even not include an alt tag at all. So it would be

    Code:
    <img src="image.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0">

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard dominique's Avatar
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    I get what your saying, but alt="" still has a popup and leaving alt out alltogether apparently confused text readers.

    I suppose I'll just have to go with alt="".

    Thanx.

  5. #5
    Gong!
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    Originally posted by Fletch
    Hi,

    Or you could even not include an alt tag at all. So it would be
    True, true. But you should include alt-tag, because W3C recommends it and if your user browses without images, it will look horrible.

  6. #6
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I've never had to use a spacing gif in my life.

    If I want netscape to render an empty cell I put an &nbsp; in it.
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  7. #7
    e=2.718281828459045235360 HyperBaseball's Avatar
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    Or you could put the name of your site in the alt tags. That way, people who didn't know any better would assume it was just telling you the site's name.
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  8. #8
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    The RNIB in the UK have the following suggestions

    http://www.rnib.org.uk/digital/hints.htm

    If you have a spacer Gof the best thing to do is include the ALT tag but leave a SPACE between the " " or s full stop "."

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    aspen...the problem with &nbsp; over a spacer gif is if your user resized their browser's font size, then guess what? Your tables break. Because even though invisible, a &nbsp; is still considered "text" so it has to obey the user. A spacer GIF stays the same size no matter what.
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Originally posted by hmahonen
    Originally posted by Fletch
    Hi,

    Or you could even not include an alt tag at all. So it would be
    True, true. But you should include alt-tag, because W3C recommends it and if your user browses without images, it will look horrible.
    What, the word "Spacer" all over would be better looking? I wouldn't recommend ALT tags for blank spacer images - I honesly cannot think of a good reason to.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru
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    I'm glad someone brought this up. I don't use alt tags for spacers, and I have some other images that I can't figure a good an alt tag for - like some tiny colored squares that I use as dividers beween text links on one site. The text won't run together with or with out them and they look good..not ready to give them up, but they don't lend themselves to an alt tag. Of course, that means that my pages will never meet standards, even though they might be accessible in all browsers including text only, and set up so that they make sense with alternative software for disabled visitors.
    Seems to me that a couple of years back the conventional wisdom was to include an alt tag whenever the image conveyed information of any kind. Now it's across the board, no matter what.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by aspen
    I've never had to use a spacing gif in my life.

    If I want netscape to render an empty cell I put an &nbsp; in it.
    That's the best idea. using &nbsp; will save you quite a bit of load time. Using <img src="image.gif" width="1" height="1" alt="" border="0">
    is 64 characters. Using &nbsp; is 6 characters. That's a 93% savings

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Aidan...read my post from a few lines back...
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by creole
    Aidan...read my post from a few lines back...
    Yup, I had read that. Spacer GIFs are good for spacing, but &nbsp; is better for filling an empty cell. A lot of empty cells aren't for spacing anyway.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard dominique's Avatar
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    I'm sorry Aidan if my words where unclear, by spacer gif I also ment the gif you put when a table cell has a background color or motif as part of your layout to prevent it from collapsing in Netscape.

    A non-breaking space is often too high for the cell. And as creole mentionned, when a user changes the size of his fonts your whole layout can be drastically altered, often for the worse!

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Aidan Bahta
    Originally posted by creole
    Aidan...read my post from a few lines back...
    Yup, I had read that. Spacer GIFs are good for spacing, but &amp;nbsp; is better for filling an empty cell. A lot of empty cells aren't for spacing anyway.
    The other problem with using a '&nbsp' is if you want a cell to only be one or two pixels wide or high.

    I usually critique site in the Web review forum who do not use alt tags, but this is an exception. The reason for alt tags is that users can use reading browsers and hear items like "XYZ Company" or whatever message the image is supposed to be conveying. Spacers are not meant to be seen or heard. It's a 'trick' used to deal with the shortcomings of Netscape 4. It will be moot point in a year.
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  17. #17
    Gong!
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    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    What, the word &quot;Spacer&quot; all over would be better looking? I wouldn't recommend ALT tags for blank spacer images - I honesly cannot think of a good reason to.[/B]
    Of course not. Just read the post I made before the one you quoted, where I said that the proper way is to use:

    Code:
    <img src="image.gif" width="1" height="1" alt="" border="0">
    You need reasons to use them? What about text-only browsers, text-to-speech browsers, following recommendations etc? There's few reasons for you.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    Originally posted by hmahonen
    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    What, the word &amp;quot;Spacer&amp;quot; all over would be better looking? I wouldn't recommend ALT tags for blank spacer images - I honesly cannot think of a good reason to.
    Of course not. Just read the post I made before the one you quoted, where I said that the proper way is to use:

    Code:
    &lt;img src=&quot;image.gif&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;
    You need reasons to use them? What about text-only browsers, text-to-speech browsers, following recommendations etc? There's few reasons for you. [/B]
    How does alt="" help a text or reading browser? There is nothing there for it to read. Alt tags were designed to convey a message if the picture could not be seen. There is no image to be seen with a transparent spacer. Using an alt tag defeates the purpose.
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  19. #19
    Irritability Defined
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    Originally posted by westmich
    How does alt=&quot;&quot; help a text or reading browser? There is nothing there for it to read. Alt tags were designed to convey a message if the picture could not be seen. There is no image to be seen with a transparent spacer. Using an alt tag defeates the purpose. [/B]
    Precisely. However, a validator or text-to-speech browser won't pick the difference between a spacer and an image.
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  20. #20
    SitePoint Member
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    What if you used &nbsp while also setting the font size attribute so it could'nt be resized ? Or instead of & nbsp what about a "." with the font size fixed to say 1px. Should allow you to space all but the smallest cells with no problems wihtout the spacer.

  21. #21
    The Hiding One lynlimz's Avatar
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    Spacer gifs in my opinion are quick easy solutions to table collapsing. If you did a good layout and table management, you won't need them and a &nbsp; code would do.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    sheesh...that's sort of an arrogant attitude lymlinz.

    There is nothing wrong with using spacer GIfs...sometimes it is the only way to get what you need. What if you want a 2 pixel tall line across the screen? A &nbsp; would not let you do that without devising some elaborate method to keep the size down. A spacer GIF is reliable and ALWAYS does what you want it to do.

    You can't always say that for a &nbsp;.
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  23. #23
    The Hiding One lynlimz's Avatar
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    Well yes, for heights..
    but weren't we talking about widths? hmm..
    pardon me if it felt arrogant but it sure didn't seem
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    s'cool man...I know you're good at your coding...

    I was under the impression we were talking about spacer GIF's in general both height and width.
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  25. #25
    The Hiding One lynlimz's Avatar
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    yeah..sorry about it anyways...hmm.
    nope..i sure ain't good at coding....and the least I would like of a description of myself is arrogant...yup...

    I'm learning from the guys here
    <Edited by lynlimz on 01-23-2001 at 12:43 AM>
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
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