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Add a Caption
This is part of Chapter 3 of the book Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft FrontPage 2003 in 24 Hours by Rogers Cadenhead, published November 2003 by Sams Publishing
One of the ways to make your Web pages more usable is to give each graphic a caption that describes the image.
As a page is being downloaded, some Web browsers show a graphic's caption in the area occupied by the graphic.
If the graphic is being used as a menu button or for some other kind of navigational purpose, the caption enables your users to make use of it before the picture is downloaded. People who are using a slow Internet connection (56.6K or less) will appreciate the courtesy, especially if the graphic is large.
Text descriptions are also the only way a text-only Web browser such as Lynx can make any sense of graphics. If a graphic must be clicked to navigate your Web, it should have text that describes its purpose.
By supplying this text, you provide more information about the page's contents that search engines can utilize. The Google Images search service, which displays images matching one or more keywords, makes use of captions.
You also provide information that's essential for differently abled people using your Web site, which increases its accessibility.
The goal of accessibility, which is one of the hottest topics among Web designers today, is to ensure that a Web site can be used with screen readers and other assistive technology. By providing captions for each graphic -- especially those which have hyperlinks associated with them -- you expand the prospective audience for a site.
Figure 3.6 shows a good example of a Web site that makes use of captions: the home page for Poynter Online, a resource for professional journalists published by the Poynter Institute.
On the Poynter home page shown in Figure 3.6, each of the items along the left edge is a hyperlinked graphic to a part of the site. Because the designer was so diligent about providing captions, the site can be used by the widest audience possible.
To add a caption to a graphic or edit an existing caption, follow these steps:
To see what your page looks like without graphics, most Web browsers can be configured to stop displaying them. In Internet Explorer 6, do the following:
Pictures will not be displayed for all Web pages that you load after that point, although some pages in your cache will still come up with graphics.
You can turn picture display back on by selecting the Show Pictures check box.
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