Christian Heilmann

A “right-click to show alt text” browser extension

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 at 1:05 pm

A few days ago Amelia Bellamy-Royds asked on Twitter for a way to right-click any image and see its alternative text as a means to test web sites for accessibility problems. There are a lot of solutions already out there that do similar things. Accessibility Insights is one I keep using, but it feels like a tank where you want a scooter.

I’ve written a bookmarklet to achieve that functionality but this one doesn’t work on many web sites because of Content Security Policy reasons – which is a good thing.

So I packaged the bookmarklet functionality into a browser extension, and now it works everywhere – including Twitter and Facebook. You can see what it does in this video.

You can get the browser extension from the Microsoft Edge Extension store or you can side-load the extension from your local hard drive. That way you can also play with the code. The extension is also currently reviewed by Google and should show up in the Chrome store soon.

The code and instructions how to do that are on Github.

The main reason I did this

As you may know, I am a product manager on the Developer Tools of the Microsoft Edge browser. One of my main areas is accessibility tooling and how we can improve it. So I’m wondering if that functionality shown here could be something to be added to the browser out-of-the box.

What do you think?

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