AREA with null ALT attribute Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: September 5, 2016

Expected Result: causes problems in some screen readers

Actual Result: causes problems in 49 screen reader / browser combinations

For expected failures, the results show which AT combos the failures affect. Results are recorded from the user's viewpoint, so describe the user impact of authoring errors.

Code used for this test:


        <img src='1234.png' alt='' usemap='#area_nullalt_map1'>
        <map id='area_nullalt_map1' name='area_nullalt_map1'>
           <area alt='' coords='0,0,100,100' href='left_arrow.htm' target='frame1'></area>
           <area alt='' coords='200,0,300,100' href='right_arrow.htm' target='frame1'></area>
        </map>
    

Change History

Last updated: September 5, 2016

Screen readerBrowserModeNotesWhat the user hears
Fail NVDA 2016.2FF48 ReadingHas same affect as null ALT on IMG element, but hides image map Speak Blank
Fail NVDA 2016.2FF48 TabbingNo indication what graphic is, or where links go. Speak Link. Link.
Fail NVDA 2016.2IE11 ReadingNo indication what graphic is, or where links go. Speak Link link.
Fail NVDA 2016.2IE11 TabbingComplete silence when tabbing between AREAs.
Fail NVDA 2015.2FF41 ReadingHas same affect as null ALT on IMG element, but hides image map Speak Blank
Fail NVDA 2015.2FF41 TabbingNo indication what graphic is, or where links go. Speak Link. Link.
Fail NVDA 2015.2IE11 ReadingNo indication what graphic is, or where links go. Speak Link link.
Fail NVDA 2015.2IE11 TabbingComplete silence when tabbing between AREAs.
Fail NVDA 2014.1FF29 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Graphic, link, left arrow, link, right arrow.
Fail NVDA 2014.1FF29 TabbingLink URL gibberish read for first link, silence for second link. Speak Left arrow, link, right arrow, link graphic.
Fail NVDA 2014.1IE11 ReadingNo indication what graphic is, or where links go. Speak Link link.
Fail NVDA 2014.1IE11 TabbingComplete silence when tabbing between AREAs.
Fail JAWS 17.0.2619FF48 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out, no indication of links. Speak Graphic, left underline arrow, right underline arrow. Graphic, left underline arrow. Graphic, right underline arrow.
Fail JAWS 17.0.2619FF48 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Left underline arrow, image map. Right underline arrow, image map.
Fail JAWS 17.0.2619IE11 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Image map link, slash left underline arrow. Image map link, slash right underline arrow.
Fail JAWS 17.0.2619IE11 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Slash left underline arrow, image map link. Slash right underline arrow, image map link.
Fail JAWS 16.0.4350FF41 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out, no indication of links. Speak Graphic, left underline arrow, right underline arrow. Graphic, left underline arrow. Graphic, right underline arrow.
Fail JAWS 16.0.4350FF41 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Left underline arrow, image map. Right underline arrow, image map.
Fail JAWS 16.0.4350IE11 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Image map link, slash left underline arrow. Image map link, slash right underline arrow.
Fail JAWS 16.0.4350IE11 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Slash left underline arrow, image map link. Slash right underline arrow, image map link.
Fail JAWS 15.0.9023FF29 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out, no indication of links. Speak Graphic, left underline arrow, right underline arrow.
Fail JAWS 15.0.9023FF29 TabbingLink URL gibberish read for first link, silence for second link. Speak Left underline arrow, right underline arrow, image map.
Fail JAWS 15.0.9023IE11 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Image map link, slash left underline arrow. Image map link, slash right underline arrow.
Fail JAWS 15.0.9023IE11 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Slash left underline arrow, image map link. Slash right underline arrow, image map link.
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002FF29 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out, no indication of links. Speak Graphic, left underline arrow, right underline arrow.
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002FF29 TabbingLink URL gibberish read for first link, silence for second link. Speak Left underline arrow, right underline arrow, image map.
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002IE11 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Image map link, slash left underline arrow. Image map link, slash right underline arrow.
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002IE11 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Slash left underline arrow, image map link. Slash right underline arrow, image map link.
Fail JAWS 13.0.852FF29 Readingimage map ignored
Fail JAWS 13.0.852FF29 TabbingWrong text read for first link, silence for second link. Speak Tab. Reads previous heading. Tab
Fail JAWS 13.0.852IE11 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Image map link, slash left underline arrow. Image map link, slash right underline arrow.
Fail JAWS 13.0.852IE11 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Slash left underline arrow, image map link. Slash right underline arrow, image map link.
Fail WindowEyes 9.2IE11 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Link, slash left arrow dot HTM. Link, slash right arrow dot HTM
Fail WindowEyes 9.2IE11 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Link, slash left arrow dot HTM. Link, slash right arrow dot HTM
Fail WindowEyes 8.4IE11 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Link, slash left arrow dot HTM. Link, slash right arrow dot HTM
Fail WindowEyes 8.4IE11 TabbingSilence when tabbing to AREA links - no indication of image map role or name
Fail VoiceOver OSX 10.11Safari 9.1.2 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Link, left underline arrow HTM. Link, right underline arrow HTM.
Fail VoiceOver OSX 10.11Safari 9.1.2 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Link, left underline arrow HTM. Link, right underline arrow HTM.
Fail VoiceOver OSX 10.10Safari 8.0.6 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Link, left underline arrow HTM. Link, right underline arrow HTM.
Fail VoiceOver OSX 10.10Safari 8.0.6 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Link, left underline arrow HTM. Link, right underline arrow HTM.
Fail VoiceOver OSX 10.9Safari 7.0.3 ReadingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Link, left underline arrow HTM. Link, right underline arrow HTM.
Fail VoiceOver OSX 10.9Safari 7.0.3 TabbingLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Link, left underline arrow HTM. Link, right underline arrow HTM.
Fail VoiceOver iOS 9.1Safari iOS 9.1TouchLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Left arrow HTM, link. Right arrow HTM, link.
Fail VoiceOver iOS 8.4Safari iOS 8.4TouchLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Left arrow HTM, link. Right arrow HTM, link.
Fail VoiceOver iOS 7.1Safari iOS 7.1TouchLink URL gibberish read out. Speak Left arrow HTM, link. Right arrow HTM, link.
Fail Dolphin SR 15.05IE11 ReadingNo indication of link purpose Speak Link. Link.
Fail Dolphin SR 15.05IE11 TabbingNo indication of link purpose Speak Link. Link.
Fail SaToGo 3.4.96.0IE11 ReadingNo indication of link purpose Speak Link, link
Fail SaToGo 3.4.96.0IE11 TabbingNo indication of link purpose Speak Link, link

SortSite rules: AccWcag1-1.1.2

Test notes

The threshold for inclusion in these results is 5% usage in the most recent WebAIM screen reader survey. Chrome and Android still fall below the 5% threshold.

All tests were carried out with screen reader factory settings. JAWS in particular has a wide variety of settings controlling exactly what gets spoken.

Screen readers allow users to interact in different modes, and can produce very different results in each mode. The modes used in these tests are:

In the «What the user hears» column: