According to Microsoft, more than half of the images on the Internet do not have alternative text, which is useful for people with vision problems. Now, the company has addressed this gap with alternative text that is automatically generated in Microsoft Edge for images on the web.
“Screen readers rely on having image (or alt text) tags that allow them to describe visual content, such as images and graphics, so that the user can understand the full content of the page. Alt text is critical to making the web accessible, but is often overlooked.
Microsoft Edge will now automatically generate missing alt text on images. While noting that the accuracy of this text may not be that exact, it will help to provide a brief overview for users.
In order for this new resource to be usable, user permission is required as the images will be sent to Microsoft for processing and creating a description. To activate this option, go to “Settings”, “Accessibility”, “Make Microsoft Edge easier to use” and “Get descriptions of images from Microsoft for screen readers”.
After we have selected this alternative, the browser will explain to us what it consists of, so we will have to specify if we agree with this process. However, the firm explains that this tool will not work with all the images that we can find on a website.
In particular, alt text will not be able to be generated for images that are just decorative, too large, or smaller than 50×50 pixels. In any case, this new function, which is already available for Windows, Linux and Mac, can become a useful resource for users with vision problems.