This is similar to Also use alt tag as title on images, which asked to make the alt-text serve as the title. However, the OP in that question could not think of a good use case.

I can think of a very good use case, having just gone through the tedious process of adding alt-text to my answer on why the Earth has tidal bulges on both sides. The use case is that what I wrote as alt-text was utterly invisible to me in the rendered result.

This is a problem. I oftentimes only see my typos, my putting "the" on the end of one line and "the" on the start of the next, my incomplete sentences, etc., when I read the rendered result. Because the alt-text is completely invisible to me, I know that it contains garbage. Making the alt-text serve as the title, at least for the author in preview mode, will help those who bother to use alt-text improve the accessibility of their answers.

My feature request is simple: In preview mode, make the alt-text the title in the rendering if the title of an image is missing and the alt-text is present.

  • As long as it's only in preview mode, I can get behind this.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 17:44
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    But then it's not really a preview. Alt text should be visible only when the image itself fails to load. Commented May 24, 2016 at 18:06
  • @ShadowWizard - I reverted your change. As far as I'm concerned, the primary reason for the alt-text is accessibility. Commented May 24, 2016 at 18:11
  • alt text should only be shown when the image itself is not shown. It's pretty much never appropriate to use it as an alternative title. Commented May 24, 2016 at 18:16
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    You two are missing the point. The alt text is invisible. The only ways to see it in the preview are to either intentionally break the link (blech!) or to cut-and-paste the alt text as the title. (Actually, I thought of doing just that. But that violates DRY. Even worse, someone will later edit my answer and not repeat the cut-and-paste). As an author, it would be nice to have a way to see what I wrote. A tiny popup does quite nicely. Commented May 24, 2016 at 18:24
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    The preview exists so you can see how your post will be formatted, not so you can spellcheck it. You can spellcheck just as easily by looking at the raw text in the textarea itself. This feature would confuse users who will expect the alt-text to also be the title in the final rendering, but it won't be true. We shouldn't be providing different behavior for the preview versus the final output.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


The alt text shouldn't be shown as the tooltip because how would you preview the tooltip then? (Although I'm not sure why we even have the ability to use tooltips in posts as they aren't accessible.)

That being said, the new Stacks editor does what you're asking when you're in WYSIWYG mode and select an image you have in your post:

Image source, image description, and title fields in popup

You can only use this editor in a few places on the network (Teams, answering on MSE/MSO, and asking on SO), but it's probably going to replace the current editor at some point (hopefully after they fix all the bugs).

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