Introduction to Adding Alternative Text to Images in Microsoft Office

Visuals like tables, charts, and images can be valuable instructional tools; therefore, Alternative Text is essential to help readers who are blind or have limited/low vision understand the image and its value.

This page contains a video tutorial as well as text directions explaining how to add Alternative Text in any Microsoft Office application.

For more information on accessible images, reference the Make Images Accessible page.

Consider taking the Proactive Accessibility Certificate Workshop Series.

The Basics of Adding Alternative Text to an Image in Microsoft Office

The following steps explain how to place Alt-Text on a photo and provides some guidance to the content of the text.

Adding Alt-Text:
  1. Right-click on the figure and look for Edit-Alt Text.
    1. If you see Edit-Alt Textselect it and type your Alt-Text in the box that appears on the right-hand side of your document. Repeat for every image. If the image is decorative, check the “Mark as decorative” box.
    2. If you do not see Edit Alt Text, follow the remaining steps.
  2. Select Format Picture; a sidebar labeled ‘Format Picture’ will appear on the right side of the screen.
  3. Click the Layout & Properties Icon
  4. Select Alt-Text from the menu on the sidebar. This will open two sections labeled ‘Title’ and ‘Description’
  5. Type the title of the figure to the appropriate line
  6. Type the Alt-Text in the box under ‘Description’.
  7. Close the sidebar by pressing the X in the upper-right corner.

You have now completed adding Alt-Text to a photo.
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