A Bit Of Access

Alt or not, a browser extension / add-on for Twitter

Published by (updated )

Alt or not is a browser extension / add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. To easily see which images include alt text, and read the alt text on Twitter (also supports GIF) and TweetDeck.

It's often difficult or cumbersome to tell if images have alternative text on Twitter. Alternative (or alt) text is used to describe images for those who can't see the image, making them more accessible.

This extension shows which images are missing alternative text, and displays the alt text below the images when available.

Note: on TweetDeck descriptions are not displayed in the notifications column or on GIFs.

How does it work?

Install the extension / add-on on Chrome, Firefox, or Edge by downloading the correct version:

If needed, enable the extension, and you're done!


Image showing the image description below the image
An image description is displayed.
Image showing the no alt label on a GIF
No image description was available on this GIF.

Currently the extension has the following features (accurate for version 0.2 and above):

  • Shows a red "No alt" label in the top left corner of images missing a description
  • Displays the description of images below the images in the tweet
  • Works on photos and animated GIFs for Twitter
  • Only works on photos where Tweetdeck includes the image descriptions (not on GIFs and some tweets in the notifications column
  • It should not impact the use of screen readers

Planned features

The following feature(s) are under consideration for future updates:

  • Toggling features on or off

Update: 0.3 (27-02-2012)

Version 0.3 fixes an issue preventing alt text from displaying properly on some quote tweets on Twitter.

Update: 0.2 (26-02-2012)

Version 0.2 includes some optimizations and fixes some minor bugs:

  • Prevented "null" appearing below YouTube previews on Tweetdeck
  • Fixed positioning of alt text on Twitter on tweets with multiple described images
  • Fixed positioning of alt text on Twitter on quote tweets with described images in the tweet and quoted tweet

Questions or suggestions

If you have questions about, or suggestions for the extension, you can let me know on Twitter.