Alternative Text

Word or phrase that serves as a textual alternative for the element.


Usage: Provides, for the elements on which it is allowed, the same type of service for pronouncing screen readers and other accessibility software as the element <alt-text> provides for graphics and other objects. This attribute contains a word or phrase used to provide a very short textual alternative to a component such as an abbreviation or cross-reference. The content of the attribute can be used for special accessibility presentation, to differentiate, for example, as part of an <abbrev>, that the WHO should not pronounced as the “who”, but rather pronounced as the “W.H.O.” or as the “World Health Organization”.

Accessibility Best Practice: Please reserve this attribute for accessibility uses such as pronouncing screen readers. For example, it could be used to provide a textual interpretation of an emoticon (“ wink, frown ” for“ ;-(”).

Attribute Values

In Elements

<abbrev>, <label>, <named-content>, <styled-content>, <xref>
Value Meaning
Data characters Text, numbers, or special characters.
Restriction: This attribute may be specified if the element is used.