screenreaders and images with triggers

Aug 06, 2015


When I add a trigger to an image it makes the screenreader ignore the alt text and read the file name of the image instead.

Is there anyway I can force it to read the alt text.

This seems like it must be a bug? Is there any plans to fix this?



15 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Leanne, 

I didn't find any other reports of this - so I think we'd want to know a bit more about the set up you've been working with in terms of triggers, alt text used, and which screen reader you're also using. We mostly test with JAWS and in that set up I know it's important to use the latest update and in the latest update of Internet Explorer as I believe they only support it as such. 

If you'd like to share a few sample slides here, we're happy to take a look. 

Leanne Duffield


It is Jaws I am using. I have checked my settings and my laptop is set to automatically update to the latest version of Internet Explorer, so that shouldn't be the problem.

There is another thread showing the same findings here:

For images inserted with no triggers attached, Jaws reads the alt text, but as soon as you add a trigger it reads the file name. You can't control it in the timeline, it's the actual file name with the .jpg or .png read out as well.

Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated.



Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Leanne,

That thread is a bit older, and I'm not sure it's connected to Storyline 2. I do know that the Screen readers can append it with the words button or graphic as described here.  If you'd like us to take a look at how your file is behaving that would be helpful for sharing it with our QA team if needed or offering additional solutions to you. 

Also, just an FYI when replying via email your signature is included here so you're welcome to edit the post and remove that as needed. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Leanne,

I took a look at Belen's case and our team was able to replicate it in her original file, but not when they tested in a new file. To solve the issue in her file,  they saved each images to our local machine and deleted it from the original project. Then, we re-inserted the images and added "Alt Texts" to each (including the associated Triggers). The resulting content worked without issues when viewed with JAWS. 

With that in mind it seems to have been file specific, so if you're running into the same issue you may want to try the steps above to fix the issue in your file as well. 

Belen Ferrer

Hi Leanne,

I just wanted to confirm that the Articulate team was successful: They created a slide that had images with triggers and, when they tested it, JAWS was able to read those images' Alt Text. They did that simply by saving the images on their local drive.

However, I have not been successful doing that exact same thing with my project. Using locally-saved images hasn't helped. When my colleague reviewed my published output, his JAWS kept reading file names instead of Alt Text.

I think my workaround will be to use transparent shapes on top of the images (and turning off accessibility to those images) to provide the Alt Text. No idea why Articulate's solution is not working for me.

Please update this thread if you are able to find a different solution.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Tina, 

Did you use transparent shapes or hotspots? Hotspots aren't accessible as they are invisible to users (sighted or not). 

I'm not sure if Belen is still subscribed here as this discussion is a bit older,  but you could always use the "contact me" button on a ELH users' profile to reach out to them directly! 

Douglas Harriman

Hi All,

Were you able to isolate triggers as the variable?

I ask because I just did some extensive testing for and reporting in the other thread Leanne linked to and found states to be the source of this bug (or a near identical one) not triggers. And I just did some follow-up testing in Storyline 2 and Storyline 3 and was not able to replicate this bug for images that had a single state (Normal) and a trigger. But as I reported in that other thread, as soon as you add more states, wonkiness ensues in S2 and S3, whether the images have triggers or not.

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