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Technique H24:Providing text alternatives for the area elements of image maps

About this Technique

This technique relates to:

This technique applies to HTML documents that contain area elements.


The objective of this technique is to provide text alternatives that serve the same purpose as the selectable regions of an image map. An image map is an image divided into selectable regions defined by area elements. Each area is a link to another Web page or another part of the current Web page. The alt attribute of each area element serves the same purpose as the selectable area of the image.


Example 1

This example uses the alt attribute of the area element to provide text that describes the purpose of the image map areas.

<img src="welcome.gif" usemap="#map1" 
     alt="Areas in the library. Select an area for more information on that area."> 
<map id="map1" name="map1">
  <area shape="rect" coords="0,0,30,30" href="reference.html" alt="Reference">
  <area shape="rect" coords="34,34,100,100" href="media.html" alt="Audio visual lab">

Related Resources

No endorsement implied.



For each area element in an image map:

  1. Check that the area element has an alt attribute.
  2. Check that the text alternative specified by the alt attribute serves the same purpose as the part of image map image referenced by the area element of the image map.

Expected Results

  • The above checks are true.
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