It's alt attribute, not alt tag

Ok people, time to get some basic terminology right. I’ve posted about this before, but here goes again: There is no such thing as an alt tag in HTML! It is an attribute which is required for images, and is specified in the img tag that defines an img element.

From the HTML 4.01 specification, 13.8 How to specify alternate text:

alt = text [CS]
For user agents that cannot display images, forms, or applets, this attribute specifies alternate text. The language of the alternate text is specified by the lang attribute.


The alt attribute must be specified for the IMG and AREA elements.

Also from the HTML 4.01 specification, this time from 13.2 Including an image: the IMG element:

The IMG element embeds an image in the current document at the location of the element’s definition.

Calling the alt attribute a “tag” has become so common that I don’t really think it’s possible to do much about it. But here’s hoping that this post will point at least some of the people searching for “alt tags” or “alt tag” in the right direction.

Here are my previous posts related to this subject:

And some other people’s similar posts:

Posted on November 7, 2005 in (X)HTML