Configure how to handle the alt value when inserting images

The current DITA Specification states that the alternate text for an image should be stored in the <alt> element of the <image> element. So by default, when you insert an image in the DITA CMS, its alternate text is automatically added as an <alt> element.

Note: The alternate text is the text that you enter in the Title field of the Show/Edit Image dialog when you create an image object.
In DITA 1.0, this information was provided in the alt attribute of the <image> element, which has been deprecated but is still valid. Depending on your requirements, you may want to use the alt attribute of the <image> element when inserting an image, or you may not want the alternate text at all.
You can configure the DITA CMS so that when an image is inserted:
  • The alternate text is included in the alt attribute of the <image> element
  • The alternate text is not included in the <image> element, or
  • The alternate text is included in the <alt> element of the <image> element (default)

To configure how to handle the alternate text when inserting an image:

  1. Open the TEXTML Administration perspective by clicking the TEXTML Administration shortcut on the tool bar. If the shortcut is not displayed, follow these steps:
    1. Select Window > Open Perspective > Other
    2. Click TEXTML Administration.
    3. Click OK.
  2. In the TEXTML Administration view, double-click the server. If your server is not displayed in the view, you must add it to the view.
  3. When the Connect as dialog opens, type your username and password and click OK.
  4. Double-click the name of your docbase to open a connection to the Content Store.
  5. Locate the mutliimage.xml file in the repository's /system/conf collection.
  6. Check out the file.
  7. Open multiimage.xml with a text editor.
  8. Under the <multiimage> element, add the following element:
    <!-- type is [element|attribute|none] -->
    <alternateHandling type="type"/>
    where type is one of the following:
    • attribute: The alternate text is added in the alt attribute of the <image> element
    • none: The alternate text is not added to the <image> element
    • element: The alternate text is added in the <alt> element of the <image> element (default)
    For example, consider the following multiimage.xml file:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE multiimage PUBLIC "-//ixiasoft.com//cms//config//multiimage" "multiimage.dtd">
    
    ...
       <!-- type is [element|attribute|none] -->
       <alternateHandling type="attribute"/>
    </multiimage>
    When you insert an image with the "Create a Ditaval file" alternate text, the following DITA code will be added:
    <image alt="Create a Ditaval file" href="lar1371584859805.image" 
    id="image_hhn_qyj_4k"/>
  9. Save, close, and check in the multiimage.xml file.
  10. Inform users of the changes.
    The changes will be applied automatically once users close and then reopen their DITA CMS. Users can also apply the changes without restarting their DITA CMS by clicking DITA CMS > Synchronize Configuration.