There is currently no way to add alternative text to images in a document created with Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac. However, you can take advantage of the fact that the Mac has the ability to print to a PDF document as a built-in feature of the operating system. You can then use Adobe Acrobat to add the alternative text to the images in your PDF document.

To export your Word 2008 for the Mac document as a PDF document:

  1. Choose File, Print.
  2. Select File, Print.

  3. Select the PDF button at the bottom of the Print window and choose Save as PDF.
  4. Choose PDF, Save As PDF in Print Options window.

  5. Choose a save location on your computer and select Save.

To add the alt text with Adobe Acrobat:

  1. Open your document with Acrobat and choose Advanced, Accessibility, Add Tags to Document to add the necessary tags to the document.Accessibility, Add Tags to Document selected from Adobe Acrobat Advanced menu.Once the tags have been added you should see a panel on the left side with any warnings for missing alt text.
  2. Accessibility report on left side of Adobe Acrobat window.

  3. To add the alt text, choose Advanced, Accessibility, Touch Up Reading Order.
  4. Accessibility, Touch Up Reading Order selected from Adobe Acrobat Advanced menu.

  5. Look for the image(s) that have a warning of “Figure – No alternate text exists” on them, then right-click on each image and choose Edit Alternate Text.

    Edit Alternative Text option in contextual menu for an image.
    This will open a popup window where you can add the alternate text.Alternate text window.

  6. For images that should have null alt text (images used for decoration), draw a marquee around the image(s) with the crosshairs and choose Background from the Touch Up Reading Order panel.
    Background option in Touch up reading order window: used for decorative images.

Marking up an image with the Background attribute will allow a screen reader to skip that image.

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