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i have the following on a webpage:

<img src="/images/icons/invoice-cancelled.png" alt="cancelled" />

and yet in IE8, with the accessibility option "Always expand ALT text for images" checked, it still does not show up. Any reason why this could be?

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This question would be better asked on SO (, or better yet, Doctype ( – Josh Hunt Aug 27 '09 at 23:52
this is not programming related... that's why it's here... – Jason Aug 27 '09 at 23:54
definitely a doctype-suitable question – matthews Aug 28 '09 at 0:09
Jason: Although it may not be a programming question, superuser is definitely not the place for this question. Stack Overflow is a better choice, and Doctype is even better – Josh Hunt Aug 28 '09 at 0:17
up vote 6 down vote accepted

That's actually as required by the standard - IE is the only browser which displayed the alt text in a tooltip. I expect if you switch it to IE7 compat mode it will show.

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This answer is correct. Alt text is "Alternative" text - text that cannot be shown if the image doesn't load, or images that are turned off. That is why an alt text should be reasonably helpful, since it would usually be displayed in place of an image. For regular tooltips, it's suggested to use the title attribute, as you and others have found out. – EvilChookie Aug 28 '09 at 0:20

Ok after some digging I have found that IE8 does not display alt text as tooltips anymore and that I need to use title attributes instead. Thanks anyways. I'll leave this up in case anyone comes across this problem.

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I noticed that image tooltips were missing in IE8 and Firefox for all web pages I had designed. I then realised I had only specified alt attributes instead of title attributes!

Having a portfolio of hundreds of Web pages I was faced with the time-consuming task of adding title attributes to applicable images. Thankfully I stumbled upon a Windows application called Alt&Title that did this tiresome task for me!

Instead of spending hours manually adding title attributes, Alt&Title did it for me in minutes.

Give it a go. I hope you find it as useful as I have!

Here is the web page promoting it...

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