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Image Description Checklist

Below is a basic checklist for how to describe an image.

Alt-text replaces the image with text so people with screen readers have the equal access to all information in an eText. The most important question to ask yourself is: What is this image telling the reader?

This is just a general checklist, remember to always follow the General Guidelines and the other resources in this wiki (including the examples.) Context is always key, and this checklist may not cover every image you describe.
Describing images for Human Narration is similar to eText, except for the length of the description. Go to Human Narration: Image Descriptions for more instructions

Getting Started

  • Remove all decorative images
  • Ensure image is Inline with Text
    • right click the image
    • select Wrap Text > In Line with Text
  • Add Captions if required
Write Image Descriptions in a Google doc first. Here is an example document. Here is a quick video explaining how to set it up. Remember to share the document with the Editor access.
  • Check Context:
    • The genre and reading level of the book
    • Read the surrounding text (can include paragraphs above and below image, headings, captions. Sometimes you may need to read further that a single paragraph.)
    • Identify any images that are similar, or grouped together in a sequence
  • Identify Image Type:
    • Cover: Image on front of book, used to sell book and discussed in reading groups
    • Simple: Images that are basic, or are fully described in surrounding text.
    • Medium: Most common image type.
    • Complex: Requires both Alt-text and an Image Description. Maps and Art are the most common types.
    • Text: Images of text, and images with text
    • Multiple Images: Two Page Spreads, Images in Sequence, Repeated Images and Grouped Images

When Writing

  • Write with a Clear Structure:
    • Start with the General Description then drill down to smaller details
    • Set the scene (First sentence should be a general overview of the entire image)
    • Describe what is happening (Following sentences build up from bigger details to smaller details)
    • Give any important details given the context of the image
    • Walk the reader through the image and do not jump around
      • Go to Write with a Clear Structure section in General Guidelines for more instructions
Structure may change based on image type and context. When in doubt post on the Alt-Text Q&A!
  • Use Present Tense and Action Verbs. Write like it is happening in real time.
    • Go to Present Tense and Action Verbs section in General Guidelines for more instructions
  • Be Concise. Use plain, simple, direct language and be precise. Aim to be clear and direct with your description.
  • Be Objective. Stick to the facts in the image and do not interpret
  • Don’t censor. If you are too uncomfortable to not censor an image, contact the Production Coordinator
Go to Writing Tip: Using Point Form Technique for a breakdown on how you can start the writing process
You can find examples of many types of images on Alt-text Examples

Final Steps

  • Share the Google Doc with the Production Coordinator as a link in a comment in the ticket in RT and pass the ticket to the Production Coordinator
  • Apply any feedback to work
  • Do a final Proofread for grammar and spelling
  • Add Image Descriptions to Alt-text in Word Doc:
    • Right click on the image
    • Select Format Picture
    • Click on Alt Text
    • Enter a description in the alt text description field (leave the title field blank)
If you have any questions, post your question on the Alt-Text Q&A

Navigate Back to Images: Alt-text and Image Descriptions

public/nnels/etext/image_description_checklist.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/20 12:33 by rachel.osolen