Lotus Notes checklist

Checkpoint 3.2: Alternate text for image maps and hotspots

Provide alternate text for image maps and image map hotspots.

Applicable user interfaces

This checkpoint only applies to Lotus Notes applications viewed through the Notes client.

Note: Applications that support both the Notes client interface and the Web interface must complete both the Web checklist and the Lotus Notes checklist. When completing the Web checklist, related techniques and examples for Domino developers are found in Web checkpoint 1.1c – Image Maps.


An image map is an image that contains programmable hotspots. The user selects the hotspots to perform actions or activate links. To enable screen readers to communicate information on the image map, you must associate alternate text with the image itself and with each hotspot defined on the image map. Screen readers will read the alternate text for the image map or the hotspots when they are selected.

Required development techniques

The following techniques are the minimum required to meet Checkpoint 3.2 from the Lotus Notes Application Accessibility Checklist:

  1. Provide alternate text for all image map hotspots.
    1. Select each hotspot and open the Hotspot Properties box.
    2. Select the Advanced tab. In the Alternate Text field, enter a description of the image.
  2. Provide alternate text for the image map itself.
    1. Select the picture that is being used for the image map and open the Picture Properties box.
    2. Select the Picture Info tab. In the Alternate Text field, enter a description of the image map. The alternate text should not be too verbose.

The following example shows the correct way to add alternate text for a hotspot image. Note that the tab order for the image has also been defined. This improves the usability of the image map by ensuring the tab order is logical.

Exit Course hotspot

Hotspot Properties Box with Exit Course entered in the Alternate text field under the Advanced tab.

Recommended development techniques

Set the tab order for hotspots in image maps. Open the form or page which contains the image map. Select the first hotspot and open the Hotspot Rectangle Properties box. On the Advanced tab, go to the Tab Key section and in the field "Position in image map tab order" enter the tab order for the hotspot. Continue with each hotspot going in a logical order from top to bottom.

Required test techniques

Test the application to ensure that it complies with accessibility requirements.


Install the following tools to test this checkpoint:


The following techniques are required to verify this checkpoint:
Action Result


Test image maps in a Notes client application with a screen reader to verify the alt text is meaningful.



©2009 IBM Corporation

Last updated August 25, 2009.