HTML <img> alt Attribute

HTML img Tag Reference HTML <img> tag


An image with an alternate text specified:

<img src="smiley.gif" alt="Smiley face">

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Definition and Usage

The required alt attribute specifies an alternate text for an image, if the image cannot be displayed.

The alt attribute provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it (because of slow connection, an error in the src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader).

Tip: To create a tooltip for an image, use the title attribute!

Browser Support

alt Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Note: Internet Explorer 7 (and earlier) displays the value of the alt attribute as a tooltip, when mousing over the image. This is NOT the correct behavior, according to the HTML specification. 

Differences Between HTML 4.01 and HTML5



<img alt="text">

Attribute Values

Value Description
text Specifies an alternate text for an image.

Guidelines for the alt text:

  • The text should describe the image if the image contains information
  • The text should explain where the link goes if the image is inside an <a> element
  • Use alt="" if the image is only for decoration

HTML img Tag Reference HTML <img> tag