Add image ALT text

by | Oct 26, 2016 | Tips/How-to | 0 comments

There are several ways you can add ALT text to images embedded into Canvas content.

What is ALT text?

ALT text is text that is displayed when an image fails to load or read out on a screen reader. ALT text should briefly describe the important image contents relevant to the course content. It should not include copyright information or extra details not in the image.

Below is an example image with both good ALT text and problematic ALT text.
Note: If your ALT text requires more than 155 characters, consider using a complex image workaround.

Three Phases of Matter in Ice Cube

The image below shows all three phases of matter for water at once.

image showing liquid, solid and vapor for water

ALT: Ice cube (solid) in pool of melting water (liquid) and steam rising from it (vapor)

Bad ALT texts

  • 01ice72dpi.png
  • Copyright Penn State.
  • It’s melllllting!
  • Hand drawn illustration of ice cube showing 3 phases of water.

Option 1: Change File Name

In Canvas, the file name is the default ALT text which is normally not recommended, but if you change the file name to the ALT text, it will always be inserted when the image is placed into Canvas content.

  1. Upload your image into the Files area of your Canvas course.
  2. In the Files area, rename your file to match your default ALT text.
  3. To embed an image, open the Canvas Rich Text Editor.
  4. In the image tab on the right, click the image with the ALT text title to add it to the content.

Option 2: Add or Edit ALT Text in Rich Content Editor

  1. Open the Canvas Rich Text Editor to content which includes an image.
  2. Click on an image added to content to highlight it.
  3. Click the Embed Image icon to open the Insert/Edit Image properties window.
  4. Add the ALT text into the ALT text field in the Attributes area of the window.

circles around Canvas and ALT Text for image source and attributes