Tagging Figures, Graphics, and Multimedia
This Tag Set provides several elements related to the still graphic images and the multimedia objects contained within an article. These elements do not contain the image or object; they point to an external file that contains the image or object. The primary ones are:
- Graphic, Inline (<inline-graphic>) — inline still images such as logos,
- Graphic (<graphic>) — still images such as drawings and photographs, and
- Media (<media>) — moving images, sound files, and other media that cannot be represented in print.
The simplest graphic object is the <inline-graphic>, which is used when the image should appear inline with surrounding text. Inline graphics may contain no labels, titles, or captions. A typical inline graphic is an empty element, using an attribute to point to a logo or to a special math or chemistry symbol that is used inside a paragraph or a title. (Best Practice: If the image represents a special private character, the <private-char> element should be used instead of <inline-graphic>.)
Still images that do not appear inline are tagged with the <graphic> element, typically inside a figure (<fig>), which holds associated information such as a title, caption, etc. When an image in an article has no associated information (title, caption, etc.), a <graphic> element should not be embedded in a <fig> element.
Most <graphic> elements are empty, used only to point to their external file. When a <graphic> is within a figure (<fig>), the associated <caption> is within the <fig>.
Accessibility: A <graphic> that is not inside a <fig> or <table-wrap> should contain several sub-elements, including <alt-text> and <long-desc>, which are especially important to enable access for visually impaired users. For graphics inside another element (such as a <fig>), the containing element typically holds the accessibility information, although in rare cases the accessibility elements may need to be in both places.
Objects such as an MP3 sound clip accompanying an article are tagged with the <media> element, typically inside a figure (<fig>), which holds associated information such as a figure number, title, caption, etc. (see below). When a media object in an article has no associated information (title, figure number, etc.), a <media> element should be not be embedded in a <fig> element.
Accessibility: A <media> object that is not inside a <fig> or <table-wrap> should contain several sub-elements, including <alt-text> and <long-desc>, which are especially important to enable access for visually impaired users. For objects inside another element (such as a <fig>), the containing element typically holds the accessibility information, although in rare cases the accessibility elements may need to be in both places.
Figures are typically a numbered wrapper for images and media and their metadata, used to associate a graphic or media object with related information (such as a caption, title, or credits and other attribution) or with other graphic, media, or textual objects. Inside a figure (<fig>), the most commonly occurring related information is a caption (<caption>).
Like tables, figures typically contain titles and captions. In this Tag Set, the <title> element is included inside the <caption> element. A <caption> may contain many kinds of text associated with its figure, typically a <title> (which acts as a heading for the figure), one or more descriptive paragraphs (<p>), or a legend (tagged, for example, as a list within a <p>).
Figures do not always contain pictures. While many <fig> elements contain graphic objects (<graphic> or <media>), a <fig> element may also contain a variety of display and textual objects, such as formulas, chemical structures, poetry, tables, bulleted or numbered lists, simple paragraphs, definition lists, or a mixture of any of these items as well as one or more graphic objects.
Positioning Graphic Objects:
In common with other block-level display objects, figures, graphics, and media objects may take the @position attribute, which is used to indicate where the object should be displayed. The values for this attribute are slightly overloaded, as two values indicate the position of the object (such as a graphic) in relation to the text:
and two indicate the relationship between the object (such as a graphic) and the page, and are typically used by a publisher, not an author.
Object should appear exactly where it is found in the narrative flow.
Object should appear near its position in the narrative flow, but it may float to the top of a page or column, or into another window.
Object, typically a decorative graphic, should appear behind the narrative. This does not displace the narrative; ideally, both the graphic and the narrative are visible, and the narrative is legible through the graphic.
Object should appear beside the text that contains it in the narrative flow, as though it were in the margin of a printed page.
Figure and Graphic Examples
Here is a typical figure with a caption and graphic inside. As is usually the case, the <graphic> element is empty, only used to point to the external file.
... <fig id="fg-012"> <caption> <title>My Dog</title> <p>He is so sweet! This is his best pose.</p> </caption> <graphic xlink:href="frontView.png"/> </fig> ...
Here is a figure that contains no graphics at all, but encloses some bulleted items in a <list>. Note: The prefix word attribute has been used in the example below to request generation a complicated label; each label will have the prefix “Pet” (“Pet 1. Poodle”, “Pet 2. Persian Cat”, etc.).
<fig id="fg-012"> <caption><title>Pet Show and Tell Order</title></caption> <list list-type="order" prefix-word="Pet "> <list-item><p>Poodle</p></list-item> <list-item><p>Persian Cat</p></list-item> <list-item><p>Weaver Finches</p></list-item> <list-item><p>Gecko</p></list-item> </list> </fig>
Here is a figure with three graphics inside. The <fig> element also contains a <title> that apply to all the graphics.
... <fig id="fg-012"> <caption><title>Three Perspectives on My Dog</title></caption> <graphic xlink:href="frontView.png"/> <graphic xlink:href="sideView.png"/> <graphic xlink:href="motionView.png"/> </fig> ...
Other Block-level Display Objects
Additional (Non-integral) Display Objects
The elements for describing supplementary material that is associated with an article but not part of the article (<inline-supplementary-material> and <supplementary-material>) may also contain graphics or media as part of their description of the additional material. Neither of the supplementary elements contains the supplementary object; they contain descriptions of the material. Such descriptions may incorporate <graphic> or <media> elements.