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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Do the alt text first

    This may border on an ad, but I like what it says.

    A better way to author alternate text

    Xstandard makes a WYSIWYG. They have a newly-released feature called "Images as Text."

    However, nobody needs a special editor to use this technique: write the alt text as plain text within the content first. For icons, this should be easy. For more complex images, it would be somewhat difficult, but putting the text in first while writing and then swapping that text for an image with that text as alt seems like a great way to ensure your alt text isn't nonsensical.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    I don't like their example. Personally I think the alt should be simply save button, by saying the save button, it gives it more importance than it might need. However the is needed to make it more grammatically correct. IMO something like this for links vs images ould be more useful.
    Ryan B | My Blog | Twitter

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    The article's method doesn't make sense. In the example, it would seem that the toolbar is build using images as well. The alt attribute for the save-button should simply be Save. The alt attribute for the image in the text should therefore not include the text button, but simply read After making changes, save the ducument by pressing save on the toolbar. Ideally, assuming hotkeys are added, the alt attribute should read Control + s, so that screen reader users doesn't have to skip back and forth too much.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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    <>In Soviet Russia, website codes you!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    but simply read After making changes, save the document by pressing save on the toolbar.
    However, most instructions I find for things with buttons like that do always say "the whatever icon" or "the whatever button".

    For example, how to make bulleted lists in Open Office:
    If you want to remove bullets from an outline item, click the item, then click the bullet toggle button on the toolbar. Click the button again to attach bullets to a paragraph the previously had no bullets.
    They may do this to make sure users know they mean something in the program rather than something on their keyboard.

    The alt attribute for the save-button should simply be Save.
    Yes, I agree. I require title-tooltips to know what any but the most obvious icon/buttons do in any program (I can't even figure out the most of the SitePoint ones) and they only use action text in those (and the alt text is the same as the tooltip text).

    What they are comparing this method to is a common popup/dialogue in WYSIWYGs (including theirs) that you see there (appears out of context of the text after an image is included). What I like is the example of the crappy alt text in the beginning ("I small icon of a red heart you") and the idea that now, a WYSIWYG program starts the user/content manager off with text first, so that user remains in the context of what they are saying.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    They may do this to make sure users know they mean something in the program rather than something on their keyboard.
    But is this likely? How many people will actually search for a Save key on their keyboard - especially amongst screen reader users, whom I expect are significantly better aquainted with their keyboards than the average user.

    What they are comparing this method to is a common popup/dialogue in WYSIWYGs (including theirs) that you see there (appears out of context of the text after an image is included). What I like is the example of the crappy alt text in the beginning ("I small icon of a red heart you") and the idea that now, a WYSIWYG program starts the user/content manager off with text first, so that user remains in the context of what they are saying.
    I'm just not sure that most WYSIWYG users will actually understand this process. For a newcomer, this is too abstract. My guess is that they will simply become frustrated with no being able to add images when they want.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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    <>In Soviet Russia, website codes you!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    But is this likely? How many people will actually search for a Save key on their keyboard - especially amongst screen reader users, whom I expect are significantly better aquainted with their keyboards than the average user.
    Even I look twice. Screen reader users and touch typists and nerds, sure, but WYSIWYGs are for people like me. There are keys I don't use and I know they are out there so I check. I know I don't have a "bullet" key but my parents-in-law (who regularly use computers) don't know there's an Insert key, as opposed to the common Insert Text buttons in many programs. How about a pipe key? I happen to know I have one. If there's a key called the Break key, I would look around my keyboard first... I have one, but I've never, ever, in my whole life ever used it. And the instructions may be written with one keyboard in mind... the user may have another one.

    I'm just not sure that most WYSIWYG users will actually understand this process. For a newcomer, this is too abstract. My guess is that they will simply become frustrated with no being able to add images when they want.
    Who knows? They'd have to test on newbies to see. I still like the basic idea either way: start with text, replace with an image afterwards, to ensure better content flow and logic than the way many programs today do it.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    Even I look twice. Screen reader users and touch typists and nerds, sure, but WYSIWYGs are for people like me. There are keys I don't use and I know they are out there so I check. I know I don't have a "bullet" key but my parents-in-law (who regularly use computers) don't know there's an Insert key, as opposed to the common Insert Text buttons in many programs. How about a pipe key? I happen to know I have one. If there's a key called the Break key, I would look around my keyboard first... I have one, but I've never, ever, in my whole life ever used it. And the instructions may be written with one keyboard in mind... the user may have another one.
    There are lots of keys which the user doesn't know he has, but it's more of an issue whether they think a given key is on the keyboard, rather than the toolbar. By the way, I daily use a program which differentiates between the return key and the enter key, and the regular + and the numpad +, and which actually has a use for the Scroll Lock key


    Who knows? They'd have to test on newbies to see. I still like the basic idea either way: start with text, replace with an image afterwards, to ensure better content flow and logic than the way many programs today do it.
    That's one thing that's missing from the website, too: test results.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
    <p<strong<abbr/HTML/ 4 teh win</>
    <>In Soviet Russia, website codes you!

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I know I'm bringing up an old thread, but I find this related:
    WYSIWYGs getting in on longdesc.

    Frankly I'd say getting users to use longdesc correctly would be much, much harder than getting them (in a WYSIWYG I mean) to do alt text correctly. I'm rather surprised that software like DreamWeaver even tries, though it's good that those vendors are considering this area of web development.


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