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California State University, Long Beach
Bob Murphy ACCESS Center
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Long Description (longdecs)

What are Long Descriptions (longdecs)?

Long descriptions (longdecs) are used much like the alt text: they provide site information in a text format. Long descriptions describe more detailed information about your graphics or multimedia presentations.

For example, charts or graphs that show a lot of data should use long descriptions to explain more elaborately what it is you are displaying. Generally, a long description is a link to a text file that provides the end user with information that the user of a screen reader will hear.

Why are Longdecs important?

Longdecs are important because they provide the end user a more elaborate description the details of an image, Java applet, flash file, video file, audio file, plug-in, chart, figure, or graphics used in the web page.

How do I insert Longdecs?

Use the same procedure as inserting alt text to insert a long descritpion or a link to the long description text file you prepared for the end user who uses a screen reader to interface with your web site. See Alt Text

Below is an example of an on-screen long description that provided additonal information about the graphic being presented to the site visitor.

This is a picture of the Disabled Student Services logo. It is a student pushing up a pencil and using it to assist the student's journey toward the top of the students' academic success.

* For an expanded explanation on this procedure, view W3C Guideline 12: Provide context and orientation information.

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