The LONGDESC attribute of the HTML IMG tag is used to link the image to a full description of the image itself. If the ALT attribute gets over 150 characters it is usually a good idea to create a long description of the image and place it into an HTML file. The LONGDESC attribute then points to that HTML file.

LONGDESC is used to provide access by some assistive technology like the JAWS screen reader to a simple HTML file that describes the image. It does not create link to the HTML file on the image. In the example of JAWS, the screen reader announces, “Press Enter for Long Description”.

Example 1:

Notice the use of the ALT attribute and the LONGDESC in the following IMG tags.


<img src="/images/PieChart.png" alt="a complex chart" longdesc="PieChart.html"/>

 A Pie Chart Representing the percentage of death attributed to various catastrophes:
 <li>Volcano 0.1%</li>
 <li>Epidemic 19.8%</li>
 <li>Famine 9.2%</li>
 <li>Storm 3.2%</li>
 <li>Earthquake 1.0%</li>
 <li>War 66.8%</li>

Works With

Using Long Description
Browser Screen Reader Results
IE 9 JAWS 12 Yes
FF 4 JAWS 12 Yes


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