Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Social Media Accessibility & Inclusivity

What is Alternative Text (Alt Text)?

Alternative Text, commonly referred to as "Alt Text," is written material used to describe non-textual content (such as images) on the web. Providing alt text is particularly important for people using screen readers because it allows them to engage with non-textual web content the same way sighted users do. With a little practice, writing alt text is quick and easy, and it makes a big difference in accessibility. Explore the resources below for guidance on how to write alt text for various types of content, and how to add alt text on different social media platforms.

Alt Text for Standard Images

Alt Text for Complex Images

Veronica Lewis is a student at George Mason University in Virginia studying data science and assistive technology, with a special interest in visual impairment. Veronica created her blog, Veronica With Four Eyes, to address a " knowledge gap about topics related to assistive technology and attending public schools and college with low vision, inspired by her own experiences of being the one of the only students identified with low vision in her schools." Her blog also includes "easy-to-follow technology and design guides." Several of her posts detail how to create alt text for more complex images, such as memes. Follow the links below for tips on creating alt text for this type of content.