How to check if an image has alt text using a screen reader or browser tools

Alt texts are short descriptions that help describe an image, usually on web pages. Alt text read aloud by accessibility tools called screen readers, and also used by search engines to better understand and rank the website the image is on. 

Alt text is never a part of the image file itself – you won’t find it embedded in the JPG file, for example. Instead, it’s paired with the image manually by whoever uploads it.

There are two easy ways to see if an image on a website has alt text. You can turn on your own screen reader, or “Inspect” the page’s HTML code to see what alt text has been assigned to the image. 

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How to check if an image has alt text on a web page using a built-in app or Chrome extension 

Windows users can check for alt text in an image by using the built-in screen reader called Narrator, which can be accessed via the Start Menu’s search function. Mac users can also try VoiceOver Utility, Apple’s built-in screen reader found in the Finder’s Applications menu. 

Those who use Chrome as their browser can install the ChromeVox extension. Once installed, activate the extension if necessary and click on an image to hear the alt text. 

How to check if an image has alt text 1

A screen reader like ChromeVox will read the alt text of any selected image on a web page aloud.
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How to check if an image has alt text on a web page by inspecting it

1. On a webpage, right-click the photo you want to see the alt text for. 

2. In the menu that appears, choose to inspect the HTML. In Chrome or Firefox, select “Inspect.” For Edge, choose “Inspect Element.”

3. A pane displaying HTML should appear. Look for the HTML tag that says “alt=.” What follows will be the alt text description.

How to check if an image has alt text 2

Look for alt= to see the alt text for an image.
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

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