Background I Purpose I Instructions I Text Tag Quality and Policy

Background

People with a visual impairment need an alternative way of accessing the information conveyed by images and other non-text objects (e.g., charts).

In order to provide this information, you must describe the purpose of each of the following object types in your document: Picture, Clip Art, Shape, Smart Art, and Chart.

In some cases, graphic objects are not used to convey information (e.g., decorative shapes). Such objects are tagged in PDF as “artifacts”. While there is no support for explicitly identifying artifacts in MS Word, CommonLook Office provides support for marking images that are used solely for presentation to ensure proper handling in PDF.

Purpose

Ensure that all non-text graphic objects (Picture, Clip Art, Shape, Smart Art, and Chart) are assigned a meaningful text description that describes their purpose or are identified as images used solely for presentation.

NOTE: Multiple shapes are often used together to create a more complex object (e.g., a flow chart). Before providing a text description you must identify them as a group.

Instructions

  1. Check the Show all radio button in the CommonLook Office panel. This causes all graphic objects (Picture, Clip Art, Shape, Smart Art and Chart) to be listed in the CommonLook Office panel.
  2. Verify the textual description, if any, describes the purpose of the selected graphic object. If it does not, enter an appropriate description.
  3. If the object is not used to convey information (e.g. decorative shapes), then simply check No textual description required
  4. Click Next to move to the next object.
  5. Repeat until you have verified all the listed objects have been assigned a meaningful text description or have been identified as images used solely for presentation.

Picture showing a word document with a picture, a flow chart, and a decorative watermark.

Options

Check Show images with no textual description to hide objects that already have alternate text. Choose this option if you have already confirmed the accuracy of alternative text provided for these objects.

Text Tag Quality and Policy

Some organizations have policies that govern the quality of text description for images to ensure it is meaningful. CommonLook Office facilitates such policies by providing a warning when an image description may not be of sufficient quality, for example, if the description is simply a filename, or contains less than three words. Advanced users can manage the alternative text quality control settings using the Warn for Alternative Text Checkpoint Preference.

Guidelines and Standards

This checkpoint is relevant to the following regulations, guidelines and standards.

DocumentPublishedScopeConformance Criteria
Section 508 (USA)2001“Web-Based Information & Applications”(a)
W3C WCAG 2.02008Web ContentSC 1.1.1
ISO 14289 (PDF/UA)2012PDF TechnologySection 7.3

 

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