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*** Title vs Alt Tag ***


Title vs Alt Tag


Another of the World's Mysteries... html element vs tag.

Well, ok, not a world mystery, just an IE vs Firefox mystery! You know how IE displays the 'alt' value when you hover over a pic and, of course!, Firefox doesn't. Ever since I first noticed this in Firefox, I just new there had to be a way to show a text description for a pic. Well, today I opened a page to Google with Firefox and there was this new cool looking GOOGLE pic. And, I happened to have my cursor over the pic. Up popped the description for the pic!!! Of course, my first question was 'why am I using IE!'. Well, I wasn't. After a few minutes of searching the source code for the google page, I discovered one difference in the html code for the pic.... there was both an 'alt' tag and a 'title' tag, each set to the same value. I than inserted the html for a 'title' tag for a picture in one of my pages and, sure enough, up popped the description with Firefox. So, mystery solved!!!!

Now, the real problem. It is, as always, actually Microsoft's fault!!! What I discovered is, the 'alt' tag associated with a picture is not supposed to be used as a little box to display text. It is supposed to be used in place of the picture, if the picture is not available! Of course, IE handles this incorrectly! Actually, the 'title' tag can be used with a number of items. It is specifically for displaying additional text about an item. A 'title' tag can be used as additional information for a link, a pic, etc, ... the browser than puts the text in the 'title' tag in a little hover box over the cursor!!!


Thus, here is what you need to always do.  First, always use the title element in the header portion of your html.  Second, always use both the alt tag and title tag for pictures.  Viewers of your website using something other than IE will like the extra information and, more importantly, search engines like the additional information.

I bet you didn't know all that!!! Well, maybe you did ... lol


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