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Web Accessibility Principles
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Adding ALT text to an existing site


From:

Web Accessibility Principles

with Zoe Gillenwater

Video: Adding ALT text to an existing site

>> If you have sites you maintain that never have attributes added to the images you may have a lot of work ahead of you since we've seen that alt text really need to be tailored to each individual image there is no way you can automate adding it to existing pages but there are some tricks you can do in Dreamweaver using find and replace that can speed it up quiet a bit. If you're following along in the exercise files, open oldpage.html from he 0603 folder of the chapter six exercise files.
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      57s
  2. 33m 15s
    1. What does accessibility mean?
      5m 51s
    2. How does accessibility help your users?
      3m 30s
    3. Experiencing a website via a screen reader
      5m 46s
    4. How does accessibility help you and your clients?
      3m 9s
    5. Overview of Section 508 standards
      5m 51s
    6. Overview of WCAG standards
      6m 4s
    7. Understanding consistency and semantic markup
      3m 4s
  3. 54m 31s
    1. Understanding screen readers and accessibility tools
      6m 12s
    2. Getting accessible browsers
      5m 41s
    3. Customizing Firefox for accessibility testing
      5m 53s
    4. Using custom accessibility toolbars
      5m 28s
    5. Using Fangs and the Color Contrast Analyzer
      5m 30s
    6. Accessibility tools to bookmark
      5m 53s
    7. Using automated accessibility checking tools
      4m 57s
    8. Setting up the JAWS screen reader on Windows
      6m 42s
    9. Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X
      5m 52s
    10. Setting Dreamweaver accessibility preferences
      2m 23s
  4. 26m 12s
    1. Avoiding tables for layout
      3m 30s
    2. Using CSS for layout
      2m 40s
    3. Creating a fixed-width layout
      5m 51s
    4. Creating an elastic layout
      3m 51s
    5. Creating a liquid layout
      3m 4s
    6. Customizing a liquid layout
      7m 16s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Specifying the language
      3m 43s
    2. Setting page titles
      2m 16s
    3. Setting headings and paragraphs
      9m 55s
    4. Styling headings
      9m 56s
    5. Hiding section headings from sighted users
      6m 41s
    6. Styling text for readability
      6m 41s
    7. Ensuring proper color contrast
      6m 36s
    8. Creating text emphasis
      4m 29s
    9. Indicating quotations
      4m 29s
    10. Creating basic lists
      4m 16s
    11. Styling lists
      7m 15s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Using lists for navigation
      6m 45s
    2. Creating a horizontal navigation bar
      13m 25s
    3. Creating a vertical navigation bar
      11m 44s
    4. Adding skip navigation links
      12m 0s
    5. Hiding skip navigation links
      6m 17s
    6. Proper link text and title attributes
      6m 11s
    7. Opening new windows
      4m 28s
    8. Accessibility limitations of fly-out menus
      6m 30s
    9. Creating an accessible fly-out menu
      8m 38s
  7. 27m 55s
    1. Proper ALT text for navigation images
      4m 57s
    2. Proper ALT text for decorative images
      5m 19s
    3. Adding ALT text to an existing site
      6m 9s
    4. Adding ALT text to image maps
      5m 58s
    5. Describing complex graphics
      5m 32s
  8. 34m 1s
    1. Using tables for data
      3m 0s
    2. Creating header cells
      4m 5s
    3. Adding table captions and summaries
      9m 9s
    4. Styling tables
      5m 19s
    5. Applying header cells to complex tables
      6m 52s
    6. Adding id and headers attributes
      5m 36s
  9. 42m 7s
    1. Understanding form accessibility issues
      3m 7s
    2. Labeling form fields
      6m 9s
    3. Adding fieldsets and legends
      4m 42s
    4. Moving forms out of tables
      3m 44s
    5. Cleaning up a form's appearance
      4m 53s
    6. Aligning labels and fields using CSS
      9m 39s
    7. Indicating required fields
      6m 15s
    8. Dealing with CAPTCHA
      3m 38s
  10. 7m 29s
    1. The Text-Only technique
      3m 21s
    2. The Access Keys technique
      2m 35s
    3. The Tab Index technique
      1m 33s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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Web Accessibility Principles
6h 10m Appropriate for all Oct 16, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Accessibility on the web has been an issue for over a decade, and it remains a crucial--but often overlooked--element of web design. Instructor Zoe Gillenwater explains the concept of accessibility as it applies to the web, and describes how it affects the audience. She also covers how to set up accessibility testing, and how to apply accessibility principles to new and existing sites using standards-compliant markup and CSS. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.

Topics include:
  • Understanding Flex programming languages
Subjects:
Web User Experience Accessibility
Author:
Zoe Gillenwater

Adding ALT text to an existing site

>> If you have sites you maintain that never have attributes added to the images you may have a lot of work ahead of you since we've seen that alt text really need to be tailored to each individual image there is no way you can automate adding it to existing pages but there are some tricks you can do in Dreamweaver using find and replace that can speed it up quiet a bit. If you're following along in the exercise files, open oldpage.html from he 0603 folder of the chapter six exercise files.

This page imitates the home page of the site we have been working on but it uses table base markup and spacer GIFs to create the formatting. Go to the edit menu and choose find and replace. In this example we will only be finding the text in the current page but if you are trying to change the alt text throughout a site you will click on the find in menu and choose entire current local site. Again in this example keep it set on current document.

Next in search menu choose specific tag. The fields in the dialog box change as soon as you select this option. There is now a select menu next to the specific tag option that we just chose. Click on that menu, scroll down and chose the IMG element. This will search for images but we but want to find every image only images without alt attributes. So in the menu under the specific tag option click on the arrow and choose without attribute, in the menu beside that click on the arrow and choose alt.

So now we are looking for images without alt attributes. Again though we can't use the same alt text for every image without an alt attribute, so let's first look for all the spacer GIFs and set all of there alt attributes to empty. Although we know we're looking for the image spacer.gif we don't know what the patch of the image will be on any page in our site. Sometimes the path could be just spacer.gif other times it could be images-spacer.gif or .. /images/spacer.gif.

We need a way to find every source attribute that ends in spacer.gif. So the solution is to use a regular expression. This is a set of special characters that let you find patterns within the test. Click on the use regular expression at the bottom of the dialog box then go back up and click on the plus button and then select the adjacent menu, scroll down and select SRC for source, leave the equal option set and then in the final box is where we'll need to type our regular expression to find all of the spacer GIFs no matter what the path to them is.

In regular expressions a period stands for a single character such as a letter, number or punctuation mark. An asterisk means find the preceding character zero or more times. So if we combine a period and an asterisk it basically means match any character zero or more times. By themselves these two characters would match everything but if we add the name of the file on the end spacer.gif the search will yield every path that leads to that file.

So in this box type a period and an asterisk then spacer.gif. Finally we need to tell Dreamweaver what to do when it finds every spacer.gif. Choose set attribute from the action menu. In the adjacent menu click on the arrow and choose alt, leave the final two fields blank so that the attribute will be kept empty to denote it's an image that doesn't convey any information and should be skipped over.

Now we can click on the replace all button. The results panel shows all of the images that were affected. You can see each one of them now has an at attribute set with no content in it. But we don't have to use this method just to find decorative images. You can use the find and replace dialog box with regular expressions to find all the instances of the logo throughout the sight and to set its alt text correctly. Open the edit menu again and choose find and replace, leave current document selected and in the search menu choose specific tag.

The same values that we just used are retained. This time we are going to be looking for all of the logo images so in the field where dot asterisk spacer.gif is replace just the spacer.gif part with logo.gif again this will find all of the logo images throughout the site no matter what the path is to get to them. This time we don't want the alt attribute to be blank so in the two menu type town of Wardscott then click replace all.

Since we only searched in this document only one image was replaced but you can see in the results panel that it now has the alt text correctly set. If you are going to be reusing this search on multiple sites it would be a good idea to save your settings. Open up the edit menu and click on find and replace. In the search menu choose specific tag. All of our settings are still retained, if we wanted to save them to use again later we should click on the floppy disc icon to save the quarry.

The file folder icon folder beside it allows us to load a quarry that we already saved. So although adding alt attributes to an old site is going to require some time and work you can speed it up considerable using Dreamweaver find and replace. Next we'll look at another type of alt text, this time for image maps.

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