I have an image that I’m having trouble coming up with alt text for. Any ideas would be appreciated.

You might need to give us a few more clues here. For a start, what is the image?

A Mathematical Formula Showing […]

Else you could spellout the whole equation in words for the ALT, e.g. e, equals, mc squared. In either case this is where a full supportive text description and probably a title attribute might help.

That’s impressive. Am I alone in being unable to see an image here? Am I missing something obvious? (Wouldn’t be the first time!)

^^ that image

Sorry about that! It was showing up fine on the “preview post” page.

Let’s try this:

lawlz, can we do LaTex online??

Since alt’s should really be no longer than 100 characters, only add an alt if you can get a mathematician to concisely explain that formula. It looks possible. alt=“A mathematical forumla showing…”

But if this is like on Wikipedia where people are expected to have the ability to actually read or even copy-paste it, you’ll need to see if you can make it real text somehow. Frankly, even with Ruby annotation (which wouldn’t be correct usage), you’re not going to get it.

Check out Wikipedia’s solution which uses sup and sub tags, with an image overlaid (view page with images blocked to see the formulas). This might be the best you can do, and you may need a mathematician to write it for you or make sure you write it correctly. You can use numerical character entities to type the Greek letters. Someone without those fonts is just screwed. In any case if you do Gilder-Levin with real forumlas underneath, you’ll have a CSS background and no alt text, and alt won’t be needed either, so, cool.

what about:

```
alt="equation to calculate the WTF?! of a moment">
```

Ewww, lol

So using the Wiki method, this equation would be: F^Eod = sum_i Inb^Eo_i A^d_i/sum_d A^d_i

Looks like one of my old ssh passwords.

Well like I said, use <sup> and <sub> tags. Those are valid tags and should be used for precisely this reason.

E=MC<sup>2</sup>

H<sub>2</sub>O

That doesn’t help for symbols like the Sigma with the “i” directly centered under it.

I’m looking at the MathML stuff now. It sure is complicated for a math-free person like myself

I ended up getting one of the engineers here to write out a text explanation of what the equation does (equations actually, since there were two), and that ended up being acceptable to the accessibility people.

But I’m definitely exploring all the links provided here for next time.

It’s a shame that you’ve come to this conclusion, as quite recently MathJax started making the rounds and almost overnight because the favoured way of handling Mathematical equations on the Internet.

That doesn’t help for symbols like the Sigma with the “i” directly centered under it.

There’s usually always a “straight” way to write these things too, which is why I mentioned a mathematician might need to be involved, as I believe they know how to “plain” write these equations. I could be wrong though.

Except that it would get shot down on the spot as needing Javascript to function. We have an internal standard that everything on a page must have a non-JS version.

Buuuttt… you can have the “straight” version I mentioned before, and let those with Javascript on get the MathJax effect. Enhancement.

You can always drop something in Microsoft word and then you switch the view to HTML. It can be of help when the big things get complicated and the easy things just don’t seem to want to work.

I gotta say, Word writes some of the worst HTML I’ve ever seen… well, except Outlook, that also writes horrid HTML. And Photoshop, also writes horrid HTML.