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Avoid Images of Text

Screen readers are unable to “read” images lacking alternative text. An especially problematic situation arises when images of text are used on a page. Though the user with sight can read the text in the image as though it is printed on the page, the image is completely unavailable to the user with no vision. The table below is an example of this situation; try copying any text on the image, and you'll see that it cannot be selected.

Example of image containing text, which screen reader cannot read
Image from Rogers, K.B. (2002). Re-forming gifted education. Tucson, AZ: Great Potential Press.

If the image includes only a few words, alt text might resolve the problem. However, if the image is, for instance, an infographic or table, the content is too dense to include as alt text. At the least, you should offer an alternative means of reading the content, such as a text version of an infographic or table designed, with proper styling, in HTML. Preferably, you will redesign the content so that you may provide the text as pure text.

Should you have an image with text but hate the thought of typing it all, consider using an extraction tool to make the job easier. Two resources are listed below. Although you will need to edit the results, such extraction can save time.

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