Image Alt Text in Adobe CS5 Dreamweaver - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Dreamweaver makes it simple to assign and change the alt text of your images. You’ve probably seen the term alt text a gazillion times: It’s the text that appears before an image does while a web page is loading. Alt text also appears as a tooltip when you hover the mouse cursor over an image in a web page in certain browsers.

Alt text is helpful because it tells viewers something about an image before it appears, but it’s also necessary for viewers who turn off the option to view graphics, such as in certain e-mail applications, or folks using web-reading programs, like those for the visually impaired. U.S. federal regulations require alt tags for any work completed for federal agencies, and the tags are helpful for people with slow Internet connections.

In addition, alt text is a valuable tool for indexing image content for search engines: Search engines such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo! all use alt text as a key method of indexing images for their respective image search listings.

To assign or change alt text to an image that has been placed already, type some descriptive copy in the Alt text field in the Property inspector.