Long Description


Long Descriptions Defined

As the name indicates, a long description (like a short description, a.k.a. alt text) provides a detailed explanation of the content of an image. It is especially important when an image is complex and requires a deeper explanation than a short description can accommodate. Long descriptions are recommended when instructional or educational content is being shown, such as diagrams, graphs, and charts.

Adding Long Descriptions

There is no automatic way to include long descriptions in e-books. It is recommended at this time to create a separate file and then add it to the ScML file before producing the e-book.

  • Add an entry to the table of contents (tocbm or tocbmf) with a name like “Figure Descriptions.”
  • Add a back matter chapter title (ctbm) with the same name.
  • Use figh1 paragraph style for the name of the figure.
  • Use figcap1 paragraph style for the long description text.
  • Wrap each grouping of the figure name and descriptive paragraph(s) in longdescription structure tags.

Any figure head number with a long description should have reciprocal links added in the ScML file so that they are navigable in the ePub.

Style Usage

Any style can be included in long descriptions as long as proper hierarchy is maintained. By default, Scribe uses figh1 and figcap1 when long descriptions indicate a figure name and a single descriptive paragraph. It is also acceptable to use ah and paft, especially if the long descriptions include additional p paragraphs, lists, or other paragraph styles.


Table of Contents in ScML

    <tocbm id="rnotes"><xref idref="notes">Notes</xref></tocbm>
    <tocbm id="rlongdes"><xref idref="longdes">Figure Descriptions</xref></tocbm>
    <tocbm id="rindex"><xref idref="index">Index</xref></tocbm>

In the Back Matter in ScML

  <chapter id="longdes">
    <ctbm><xref idref="rlongdes">Figure Descriptions</xref></ctbm>
    <figh1>Figure Name</figh1>
    <figcap1 id="desc18">Add the long description text here. Describe the pertinent aspects of the image without simply repeating the information from the body of the book or the figure caption. Even when long descriptions are included, short descriptions are still required.</figcap1>
    <figcap><xref idref="fig18">Return to figure</xref></figcap>