Alt-Text in Image Metadata

  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 weeks, 4 days ago by jhswift.
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Alt-Text in Image Metadata thread
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A new version 0.97, of the Access-Aide plugin for Sigil was released this week. A new feature that supports image descriptions was added to this release.

If an image used in an epub contains either ITPC Alt-Text (Accessibility) or Exit Image Description entries in the image metadata, then Access-Aide will add that information to the epub.

The plugin looks at the ITPC metadata first, and if it finds not entry there, looks at the Exif metadata.  It will only add the image description IF the epub does not already contains alt-text  for that image.

My first question concerns the EXIF ImageDescription field in Image Metadata. Is that a good place for Image Description?

The broader question relates to storing Image Descriptions in the MetaData of an image. It seems a good idea, But what are the pros and cons of doing this.

UPDATE: After posting this, I just found out that InDesign now has this same feature. It’s in Object Styles under Export options. You can now specify the XMP source of the alt-text information. I think this is a new feature added recently, but there was no mention of this in the release notes for where other accessibility items were introduced.



I don’t think that’s all that new (in InDesign)… I regularly add alt text to the ITPC Alt Text(Accessibility) field in Bridge when remediating epubs. We write the alt text in a spreadsheet and then cut an paste it into Bridge. Then when you open InDesign it updates all the images.

Just make sure you have an object style applied to the images that has export tagging set as figure and Export Options: Alt Text set to From XMP:Alt Text:(Accessibility) before exporting the epub

Works a treat especially if you can’t sync up the filenames/file order with the alt text because Bridge allows you to see the image and the alt text at the same time to double check everything.

I’d like to push the adding of alt text to ITPC  further up the chain at some point for the obvious reason that storing the alt text “in” the images might be the best way to future proof, but I think that will wait a bit as we bring authors, illustrators and editors deeper into the process of creating the alt text.


Many thanks b.keith for that info.  I just must not have noticed it before, a hazard of the just-in-time-learning that’s become prevalent this century 🙂

Yes, I do have such an object style and we are now working, as you suggest, to get authors to provide image descriptions. But it will take a while.

I’m still learning the nuances of alt-text descriptions. I think I am providing too much detail, but it’s hard to know without getting feedback. I’m looking forward to the Daisy Webinar on Image Descriptions in Sept.

Thanks, again, for the really helpful comments


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