I ran across an answer today that looked like it could use a little help with accessibility (WBT's answer to Train Station vs. Railway Station). Specifically, there is a link to "here" that would be better attached to something more descriptive; I thought while I was at it, I'd check to see if it needed image descriptions for the Google Ngrams that make up the bulk of the answer.

In fact, the images do not include any alternate text. However, they also apparently were not added via the Image button, because the code does not include the usual placeholder for such text. Instead, there is just this:

<img src="http://i.imgur.com/uuiT4m4.png">

I'd still like to add alt text, but I'm not at all code-savvy, and I don't want to disturb the current coding for fear it will make the image go away. Should I copy the source address, add a duplicate picture (with description), then delete the original? Is there a more elegant approach?

  • 2
    Of possible related interest: Call to action: fill in image descriptions
    – choster
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 15:26
  • This answer in the Formatting Sandbox on English Language Learners Meta has some tips for working with images, including an example near the bottom that shows "alt" text with html.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 16:25
  • Thanks, @ColleenV, that looks like a useful post for future reference, too (I didn't know how to do the "thumbnail/expanded version" link, either).
    – 1006a
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 18:01
  • @choster Yes, I had that post in mind when I asked my question; I remember reading it a while ago, and it has made me more aware of the issue. I haven't made a point of looking up posts that need descriptions, but I try to add them whenever I'm editing anyway. I hadn't run across this kind of image link before, though (which I think wouldn't show up in the searches in that question?).
    – 1006a
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 18:04

2 Answers 2


Thank you for noticing and helping clean up missing alt-text. As you noted, it is important for accessibility. Your plan to insert a new image using the copied image url (https://i.sstatic.net/g9kV9.png) is a good one.

If you are nervous about it, remember that the post preview will show you what the rendered version will look (and act) like, so you can use that to check whether you've done it correctly. If you are extra nervous, you can also leave the other markup in place until you are sure you've made the change correctly. But don't worry too much. You can always rollback the change if you need to. There may also be some folks in the chat room who could talk you through it.

Good luck and thanks again!

  • Thanks. I decided to be brave and use that work-around, but @NVZ beat me to it just as I was starting :).
    – 1006a
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 17:59

Had to jump in and edit it, cuz I couldn't resist it. ;)

Now it's your turn to edit it and insert alt-texts.

  • 2
    Thanks, done! I think I went a bit overboard on the description, but it's really hard to have graph descriptions be useful without a lot of text!
    – 1006a
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 18:00
  • 1
    @1006a that kind of description texts deserve a badge!
    – Helmar
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 20:49

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