Require alt text during uploading images
For those arguing that alt text shouldn't be required because it isn't always appropriate...
In the current system, alt text is left blank in a BAJILLION places where it shouldn't be.
If we require alt text, it will be filled in SOME places places where it shouldn't be. (HTLM5 Spec on blank/null alt text: http://dev.w3.org/html5/alt-techniques/#secm2. Note: Even if a caption is provided, it may not be appropriate to omit alt text.)
Neither solution is perfect, but it seems like the latter encourages fewer instances of inappropriate alt text. (And isn't too much information better than too little?)
An opt-out checkbox might be a good compromise, but I worry that people would just learn to check it on every image, so I'm hesitant to even endorse that idea.
For those interested in SEO (which should be all of us) the current WordPress image output that only adds a title attribute is FAR from ideal.
SEO wise the title attribute is ignored by Google, Google doesn't use it for ranking purposes on images or links.
The alt attribute however is used for ranking purposes, all non layout images should have a suitable alt attribute text because Google does use it to both determine what the image is about and for ranking the page the image is on.
As a bare minimun what WordPress currently adds to the title attribute should be added to the alt attribute as well.
For those who SEO their images which means they hyphenate them as follows this-image-keyword.jpg (Google treats hyphens as a space ro the image reads as "this image keyword" to Google) the title attribute output is
Ideally it would be
this image keyword
Or even better
This Image Keyword
prepopulating alt text with title with spaces instead of any punctuation (like underscores or hyphens) would be nice, with the additional flexibility to change it
I think allowing the admin to determine whether it should be required would be the ideal along with a checkbox next to the alt text to purposely say "this should be empty" when it is required.
Does anyone know how to retrofit all the images in my media library with Alt Text?
Please ask in the support forums. Likely you'll need to do it via SQL.
Rastarr this plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/media-library-alt-fields/ makes it easier to find images lacking alt text and fix it on one screen without having to edit every image (multiple clicks per image).
4 months since I posted in this thread and stumbled on it looking for code/plugin to manually add alt text as I upload an image and found my own post above :-)
Don't suppose anyone has code/plugin that auto adds alt text as an image is uploaded (similar to the default title output) though ideally replacing hyphens as spaces and capitalizing the text?
Uploading around 150 images and it's a royal pain having to basically copy and paste the filename minus the hyphens and capitalizing. This could be so much easier.
@rastarr, I'm sympathetic to the need of adding alt-text quickly, but I don't think that converting the filename to alt text is feasible. This idea is for requiring it in WordPress core where not everyone will rename their files nicely. To state the obvious, "DSC-3197.jpg" is not good alt text.
Generally, I think it's worth considering this good WebAIM article that drives home the point that alt text at its best is contextual. I don't think this is actually a good idea, but it almost makes me think that alt text should be required on insert rather than on upload (but with things like photo galleries and sliders, that's not really an option).
As an accessibility expert I would like to see alt texts as required. At least I wish wordpress uses the image title as alt text if the alt text field is empty and stops using the title attribute instead.
I think it will be a pain for image uploaders. If WordPress wants it they can fill it with the image title (if its empty).
Yes, I think that is a practical solution.
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