Microsoft has released the ‘Caption Crawler’ extension to Edge Add-ons Store for Microsoft Edge and is available for download. This extension “adds captions to images that don’t have any” to help users with disabilities who rely on Screen Readers to get image descriptions.
Screen Readers skip the images that don’t have alt-text included, to address and help visually disabled users, Chrome automatically fetches description for captionless images from Google when the user gives consent.
Now Microsoft which always gives important to Accessibility features in Edge browser, instead of integrating the feature into Edge, has released an Extension. FYI, new Edge already supports Carrot browsing and High Contrast mode.
Caption Crawler Edge Extension
The Extension when installed, sends images on webpages without captions to Bing Images and looks up for captions from web pages containing the same image. The description will be added to the image that will be read by screen reader
Each alt-text added image will display a popup. It’s worth noting that the extension ignores small images such as logos.
Borders of the Images on the webpage with caption will change to green.
“Note that all non-captioned images cause the extension to request a caption; our plug-in has heuristics to ignore small images such as logos.”
Here is how the extension works according to Microsoft: “When our plug-in (Caption Crawler) identifies a missing caption and requests it from our cloud service, the border changes to red. There are times that web service knows that it has not received any captions from the Bing image search service; in that case the border changes to orange. Finally, when a caption is successfully returned for an image, its border changes to blue”.
You can download Caption Crawler in Edge from Microsoft Edge Add-ons Store.
UPDATE Aug 04, 2020: We learned Microsoft Research published information about Caption Crawler project that “Enables Reusable Alternative Text Descriptions using Reverse Image search” back in April 2018, it seems Microsoft recently released Chrome and Edge extensions for the same.
So you can now download CaptionCrawler for Chrome also from Chrome Web Store here.