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To add alternative text to an object in Microsoft Word



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Alternate text allows screen readers to capture the description of an object and read aloud to help people with visual disabilities. To add alternate text to an object in Word.

In Word, you can add alternate text to some objects, but not others. You can add alternate text to images, shapes, screenshots, icons, 3D models, and even text fields. You can not add alt text to SmartArt or charts.

Adding Alt Text to Objects in Word

Although screen readers are an incredible technology, they are not designed to be high enough to understand what an object is without the help of alt text.

RELATED: Adding Alternate Text to an Object in PowerPoint

To add alternate text in Word, open the document and select the object you want to add the alternate Add text.

 Selected Image in Word

Right-click on the object. In the displayed menu, select "Edit alternative text".

 Option "Edit Alternative Text" in the menu

Alternatively, you can select the option "Alternative Text" in the group "Accessibility" of the "Format" tab of the object.

 Option

Regardless of the method selected, the "Alternative text" area is displayed on the right side of the window. Here you can do some things. You can enter the alternative text manually in the content field (1), have Word generate a description (2) or mark the object as decorative (3).

 Alternate Text Range Options [19659003] If you identify something as decorative, it should be so – an object that is aesthetically pleasing but does not add value to the actual content. Office uses a stylistic frame as an example of something that you want to mark as decorative.

To mark something decorative, select the check box next to "Mark as decorative." If you enter the alternative text manually, it is greyed out and displays a message indicating that the screen readers are not accepting the description.

 Mark as decorative

You also have the option to let Word generate a description of the selected object for you. Select the option "Create a description for me".

 Automatically describe GIF object

Word offers as alternative text for our object "Close-up of a logo". This is not wrong, but not very meaningful, which is important for someone who uses a screen reader.

If you prefer to enter the alternative text yourself, select the text box and enter your description. The general rule for alternative texts is to keep them short and descriptive. Nor do you need to include the words "image of" or "photo of" before your description because screen readers will announce an object as an image for you.

 Manually Typed Alternate Text [19659003] That's all you have to do to add alternate text to your images. If you want to prevent Word from automatically generating alternative text when you insert a new image, you can disable this feature. Select the "File" tab and then "Options" at the bottom of the left pane.

 Word Options

The Word Options window appears. In the left pane, select "Easy Access".

 Easy Access

Next, find the "Alternate Automated Text" section and uncheck the box next to "Automatically generate alternate text for me," which is on by default. After disabling, click OK.

 Automatic Alternative Text

Word no longer automatically generates alternative text for newly inserted images.


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