Alt Tags Not Showing Up in Browser?

Hi, just a quickie here. If you’re out there putting alt="blah blah blah" within your HTML image tags and hoping for your alt text to appear in your browser in a ‘tooltip’ or ‘hover’ behaviour, then I suggest you give yourself a slap. Reason being, so many people are still thinking this is the norm and getting confused when their tags don’t appear as they should. A bit of research would’ve updated you about the issue and in particular, the way Internet Explorer renders the HTML markup.

You see, webmasters in the UK have a legal obligation to provide tooltips for images, so that these can be converted to speech for blind internet users. Also, more and more people are choosing Chrome and FireFox to browse the web, as opposed to Internet Explorer. The fundamental difference is that the IE engineers made an error in their execution of the HTML spec. They programmed the browser to read alt tags so that they would appear in this ‘tooltip’ manner, when hovered above the image. Back when IE was King and everybody used it, it was, therefore, considered normal for alt tags to provide the ‘tool tip’ or ‘hover’ behaviour. It was simply a case of it being the most popular browser, therefore, it was the ‘standard’ in regards to behaviour and user’s experience with it.

Now with all these new browsers available, the ‘actual’ HTML spec, that was supposed to be written into Internet Explorer has been used by their engineers. This means webmasters have to also go back to using the ‘correct’ tag. This is actually the title="blah blah blah" tag. The alt tag was primarily created to be shown only when the image was unavailable, as a replacement. The tag you need that shows the text if you hover the mouse over it is the title tag. These are two different functionalities. Of course, you can use both in the same img tag.

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