How to Add Alt Text to a Picture in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding alternative text (alt text) to an image in Microsoft Word is a simple task that enhances accessibility for visually impaired users and helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Alt text offers a text alternative for images, allowing screen readers to describe the image to users who can’t see it. So, let’s dive into how you can add alt text to your pictures in Word.

Step by Step Tutorial on Adding Alt Text to a Picture in Word

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, understand that adding alt text to images helps those using screen readers to understand what the image is about. It’s not just for decoration; it’s an essential part of inclusive design. Here are the steps to add alt text to a picture in Word:

Step 1: Insert the picture into your Word document.

After inserting the image, click on it to select it.

Step 2: Right-click on the selected image.

A menu will appear with several options.

Step 3: Click on ‘Edit Alt Text.’

This option is usually towards the bottom of the menu.

Adding alt text is not just about compliance; it’s about ensuring that your document is accessible to everyone. After finishing these steps, the image in your Word document will have alt text that can be read by screen readers, making your document more accessible and SEO-friendly.

Tips for Adding Alt Text to a Picture in Word

  • Keep the alt text concise and descriptive.
  • Avoid starting your alt text with "picture of…" or "image of…." as screen readers already announce the presence of an image.
  • Use keywords in your alt text that are relevant to your document’s content for SEO purposes.
  • If the image is purely decorative and does not add any informational content, you can mark it as such in the alt text pane.
  • Always proofread your alt text to ensure it accurately reflects the image content.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of adding alt text to images?

Adding alt text to images ensures that users who rely on screen readers can understand the content that the image represents.

Can I add alt text to all types of images in Word?

Yes, you can add alt text to any image you can insert into a Word document, including photos, clip art, and charts.

Is alt text the same as captions?

No, alt text serves a different purpose than captions. Alt text is meant for screen readers and SEO, while captions provide additional information to all users.

What should I do if the image is complex?

For complex images like graphs and charts, provide a brief alt text and a longer description elsewhere in the document.

Does alt text help with SEO?

Yes, well-crafted alt text can contribute to the image’s SEO by providing context and helping search engines understand the image content.


  1. Insert the picture into your Word document.
  2. Right-click on the selected image.
  3. Click on ‘Edit Alt Text.’


Adding alt text to a picture in Word is a crucial step towards creating an inclusive and accessible document. It’s an easy process that can make a world of difference for those who rely on screen readers to consume digital content. By following the simple steps provided in this tutorial, you’ll ensure that your images are not only visually appealing but also meaningful to all audiences.

Moreover, incorporating alt text into your images can give your SEO efforts a boost. Search engines index alt text, which can help your content rank higher in search results. Remember, the goal is to create descriptive, concise alt text that accurately represents the image content.

As technology continues to evolve, so does the need to design with accessibility in mind. By adding alt text to images in Word, you’re taking a positive step towards a more inclusive digital landscape. So, the next time you add an image to your document, don’t forget the alt text!

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