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My Alt tag does not show up in Firefox. It shows up Internet Explorer, but not Firefox. Why?!

Last Updated: Apr 15, 2013  |  5428 Views
Topics: Images

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Mozilla Firefox is correctly utilizing the ALT tag, unlike Internet Explorer, which is displaying ALT tags as tooltips (hover over an image).

From the Mozilla Developer FAQ: https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Mozilla_Web_Developer_FAQ

"Contrary to a popular belief stemming from the behavior of a couple browsers running on the Windows platform, alt isn’t an abbreviation for ‘tooltip’ but for ‘alternative’. The value of the alt attribute is a textual replacement for the image and is displayed when the image isn’t.

Mozilla doesn’t display the alt attribute as a tooltip, because it has been observed that doing so encourages authors to misuse the attribute.

  • When the alternative text is shown in a tooltip, some authors write bad alt texts, because they intend the text as auxiliary tooltip text and not as a replacement for the image. (‘Bad’ in the sense that the textual alternative is less useful for people who don’t see the image.)
  • When the alternative text is shown in a tooltip, other authors don’t want to supply textual alternatives at all, because they don’t want tooltips to appear. (Again, making things harder for people who don’t see the image.)"

However, the ALT tag *does* render properly for those using screen-readers. You can test this by going to Firefox -> Tools -> Options. Click on the Content Tab and unselect Load Images Automatically.  You will see that the Alt tag does appear in place of the image for screen-readers to pick up.


If you want text to display on-hover consistently across all browsers. Then you need to use the TITLE attribute.

  • Insert the image and any ALT text;
  • Save Changes
  • Select the Plain Text Editor Tab
  • Insert title="INSERT YOUR TEXT HERE" inside the image HTML.

Image Alt Description

Answered by Talia RichardsBookmark and Share

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