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Alternative text (alt-text) allows screen readers to capture the description of an object and read it aloud. In Google Docs, this helps make your document accessible for anyone with visual impairments. Here’s how to add alt-text.

Including alt-text with objects (images, drawings, and other graphics) in your document gives people using screen readers a better understanding of an object’s contents. Otherwise, screen reader users will hear “Image” when encountering an object.

While some images may already contain alt-text, it’s a good idea to add—and verify—alt-text to objects to be inclusive of everyone and their needs.

To add alt-text in Docs, head to Google Docs and open your document with some objects in it. Add an object to a new document if you don’t have one already made.

Open a document that has objects to which you want to add alt text.

Select an object, right-click, and then click “Alt Text.”

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut by clicking on the object and then pressing Ctrl+Alt+Y (Windows/ChromeOS) or Cmd+Option+Y (macOS) to open the menu.

RELATED: All of the Best Google Docs Keyboard Shortcuts

In the “Description” text field, provide one to two sentences describing what the object is about for anyone who is using a screen reader. When you finish, click “OK” to save the changes.

That’s all there is to it. Repeat this process for any other objects in the file to make viewing more accessible for everyone who reads your document.

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Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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