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      Have you ever thought what formatted text sounds like when read by Alexa? Maybe there’s a

      do not tell me that it’s in Arial Narrow font because that’s useless information to me while I’m going for a run

      option, but apparently there is no such option on voice technologies used by many with visual impairments:

      Does that mean that I should stop formatting text to provide more inclusive design?  

      I don’t think so.  Bold and italicize are used to improve communication, such as to emphasize important information.  But perhaps instead of getting cute with 13 different fonts to stand out on Twitter, you may want to invest time in  writing powerful copy that stands on its own.

      Especially with humor.  Would a visual or cute fonts make this even funnier?

      Next pictures

      So Cake has been providing me with a mini education on photography through osmosis.  

      And many many amazing shots shared from @Denise @doughayes @Chris and @DangerDave have been pleasant eye candy surprises.  (If I didn’t mention you here, start sharing more. 😉)


      Is this ⬆️ useful for pixel artists like @ReneeRobyn or is somebody just reinventing the wheel?  

      (And if you can answer my question without using the word “f-stops,” that would be soo helpful.)

    • I never thought about voice technologies "reading" font types! While I do occasionally use bold and italics in my blog posts, switching fonts in text never occurred to me. I don't believe that behavior helps with readability for humans.

      While there are times when a "clean up the background" tool might be helpful, I prefer to (try to) pay attention to the background when I take a photo. That said, there are times when the background is so cluttered that even with the focus on something in the foreground (and the intent to blur the background with camera settings) doesn't work to create a clear composition.

    • I would find the background removal tool useful in some commercial applications. Mainly for substituting said backgrounds.

      Cheers for the mention.

    • I'm super excited for it to work on bigger files. Last I checked it was for basically web rez images only, but the results are impressive. It's only going to get better as time goes on :)

    • Does that mean that I should stop formatting text to provide more inclusive design

      Not quite. Kent's tweet about how assistive technologies read things is only referring to the misuse of special Unicode characters to achieve visual formatting, which isn't what those characters are for. Using different fonts in something like a Google Doc, or using bold, italics, etc. on Cake, doesn't result in the same negative experience.

      The reasons for this get pretty technical, but what it boils down to is that there's a difference between a character and a font.

      The letter "a" is a character. No matter what font it's displayed in, it's always the letter "a", and screen readers and text-to-speech tools will read it just fine whether it's sans-serif, serif, bold, italic, or otherwise.

      But you may be surprised to learn that "𝕒" is not the letter "a"! Visually, it looks like it's just the letter "a" displayed with a different font, but it's actually a completely different character. Its official name is "mathematical double-struck small a", and it doesn't mean the same thing as the letter "a". So when a screen reader or text-to-speech tool encounters the character 𝕒, it reads its whole name to make it clear that this is a special character with a special meaning.

      So the important lesson here is that there's a difference between characters and formatting. Applying different visual formatting to the correct characters is fine, but using incorrect characters solely for their visual appearance will result in a bad experience for users of assistive tools like screen readers.

    • Thanks for taking the time to explain in an incredibly clear and non over my head technical way the difference between fonts and mathematical characters used in place of alphabetical characters, and how voice technologies such as Alexa communicate the difference.

      noʎ ʞuɐɥ┴