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How to Add Alt Text to objects in Microsoft Office

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

When adding objects such as images, tables, charts or SmartArt objects to your documents, it's recommended to add Alt text (Alternative Text) to those objects, as a textual alternative. Some people, whether due to visual impairment or limitations in their technology, will be unable to see your document and instead, will use a screen reader to read the document aloud.

Any Alt text that you've added to your objects will be read along with the rest of the document, helping people to understand the content of the images and other objects in your document.

To Add Alternative Text to Images, Charts, SmartArt and Shapes

  1. Right-click the object. To add Alt Text to an entire SmartArt graphic or chart, click the border of the object (not an individual element).
  2. Click Format [Object] from the contextual menu.

    Arrow pointing to Format Picture option in contextual menu

  3. Click the Layout & Properties icon in the Format [Object] pane.

    Layout & Properties icon

  4. Click Alt Text.

    Arrow pointing to Alt Text option
     
  5. Click in the description box and type in an explanation of the object. This should never be left blank.  

    Arrow pointing to text in the Description box

  6. If desired, type in a brief summary in the Title box. Note: only enter data into this field if you've entered a detailed explanation in the Description box.

To Add Alternative Text to Tables

  1. Right-click the table.
  2. Choose Table Properties from the contextual menu.
  3. Click the Alt Text tab.

    Alt text tab on the Table Properties dialog

  4. Click in the description box and type in an explanation of the object.
  5. If desired, type in a brief summary in the Title box.

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