alt — A text-only annotation, often used for accessibility.


alt ::= [-]


The alt element was originally added to DocBook to provide an alternative, usually text, presentation for graphical elements. In DocBook V5.0, it was made a “ubiquitous” element so that it's available almost everywhere. The semantic intent of alt is simply that it provides alternative text, often for accessibility.

Processing expectations

May be formatted inline or as a displayed block, depending on context. It is not usually rendered where it occurs, rather it is used to annotate some other aspect of the presentation.

For example, in an HTML presentation, the alt for a media object would likely provide the text of the alt attribute for the HTML img element.

In the context of an acronym, the alt could provide the title attribute for the HTML abbr element allowing the expansion to be presented appropriately to the user (as a “tooltip”, for example, or read aloud).


These elements contain alt: abbrev, accel, acronym, address, application, area (db.area), area (db.area.inareaset), arg, artpagenums, attribution, authorinitials, bibliocoverage, biblioid, bibliomisc, bibliomixed, bibliomset, bibliorelation, bibliosource, bridgehead, caption (db.html.caption), citation, citebiblioid, citetitle, city, classname, classsynopsisinfo, code, command, computeroutput, confdates, confnum, confsponsor, conftitle, constant, contractnum, contractsponsor, contrib, country, database, description, edition, email, emphasis (db._emphasis), emphasis (db.emphasis), entry, envar, equation, errorcode, errorname, errortext, errortype, exceptionname, fax, filename, firstname, firstterm (db._firstterm), firstterm (db.firstterm), foreignphrase (db._foreignphrase), funcdef, funcparams, funcsynopsisinfo, function, givenname, glosssee, glossseealso, glossterm (db._glossterm), glossterm (db.glossterm), guibutton, guiicon, guilabel, guimenu, guimenuitem, guisubmenu, hardware, holder, honorific, informalequation, informaltable (db.cals.informaltable), initializer, inlineequation, inlinemediaobject, interfacename, issuenum, jobtitle, keycap, keycode, keysym, label, lineage, lineannotation, link, literal, literallayout, manvolnum, markup, mathphrase, mediaobject, member, methodname, modifier, mousebutton, msgaud, msglevel, msgorig, olink, option, optional, orgdiv, orgname, otheraddr, othername, package, pagenums, para, paramdef, parameter, personname, phone, phrase (db._phrase), phrase (db.phrase), pob, postcode, primary, primaryie, productname, productnumber, programlisting, prompt, property, publishername, quote (db._quote), quote (db.quote), refdescriptor, refentrytitle, refmiscinfo, refname, refpurpose, releaseinfo, remark, replaceable, returnvalue, revnumber, revremark, screen, secondary, secondaryie, see, seealso, seealsoie, seeie, seg, segtitle, seriesvolnums, shortaffil, simpara, state, street, subscript, subtitle, superscript, surname, symbol, synopsis, systemitem, table (db.cals.table), tag, td, term, termdef, tertiary, tertiaryie, th, title, titleabbrev, tocentry, token, trademark, type, uri, userinput, varname, volumenum, wordasword, year.


The following elements occur in alt: text, inlinemediaobject.

Last revised by Norman Walsh on (git hash: 4a070f84c9fc7bc85cf9f71d71fa54f4db18f973 a835fdf61c7f87ce1038e2869080d80ea67d3696)