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14 Mar

How to get the AI to write your ALT texts

Datum: 2024-03-14 15:55
A tender moment as a younger woman kisses an elderly woman's cheek, both wrapped in warm clothes on a sunlit day.

When pub­lish­ing an image online, it is impor­tant to also add an ALT text. This can be when insert­ing an image in a blog post, a newslet­ter, on LinkedIn, or on your pub­lic website.

The ALT text describes what is in the image, which not only allows peo­ple who are unable to see and, there­fore, use a screen read­er to under­stand what the image is show­ing but also makes your web­site eas­i­er to find for those searching.

The right thing to do, but quite tedious 

Ever since I learned this a few years ago, I have been adding ALT texts to all the images I pub­lish. How­ev­er, I find it incred­i­bly bor­ing. It becomes a bar­ri­er (small and low, but still) that I have to over­come every time I want to pub­lish some­thing new.

I put in a lot of effort to find good images to use; do I now have to describe every­thing they con­tain as well?!

That’s how I’ve felt for a long time.

Let the AI do the work 

Instead, I recent­ly real­ized that I could let an AI write them instead. I test­ed it and it turns out that the AI writes ALT texts just as well as I could.

Since then, the bar­ri­er has gone. I feel no resis­tance when I want to pub­lish some­thing new, and my post­ing process goes much smoother. Isn’t that how it should be?

Here’s what I do:

1. Upload the image

In Chat­G­PT, I upload the image that needs an ALT text. I am cur­rent­ly using Chat­G­PT 4, which is the ver­sion that can receive files:

2. Write the prompt

Next, I write the prompt that I have fig­ured out gives me the results I want. The prompt is:

Describe what’s in the pic­ture in one sin­gle sen­tence, please. Trans­late the sen­tence into Swedish after­wards. You don’t have to write The pic­ture shows” in the begin­ning of the sentence.

But, as you can see, I have added a short­cut (“aaidescr”) in the app Tex­tEx­pander, which writes the whole prompt for me, mak­ing it even eas­i­er. How­ev­er, you don’t have to do this if you don’t have or want Tex­tEx­pander. Instead, you can save the prompt in a doc­u­ment where you gath­er use­ful prompts that you can use now and then.

3. The AI writes the ALT text

I click Send mes­sage” and wait a moment, after which Chat­G­PT writes — in both Eng­lish and Swedish — what it sees in the image.

I want the text in both Eng­lish and Swedish because I often pub­lish in both languages.

4. Copy the ALT text

Final­ly, I high­light each text, copy it, and paste it where I want to pub­lish the image.


Not only con­ve­nient — also fun

This has made a big dif­fer­ence for me — at least in my feel­ing of post­ing some­thing with an image online. I do it at least a cou­ple of times every day.

Besides being sim­pli­fy­ing, I have to admit that I find it quite fun to see how the AI describes the image I have cho­sen. Some­times, it’s a bit off, and then I have to adjust man­u­al­ly, of course. But in at least nine out of ten cas­es, the text turns out great.

How do you do this?

Have you found a sim­i­lar solu­tion — or a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent one? Tell me! I’m just an email away.