Add this site to your device's share sheet to quickly and easily view Mastodon media descriptions from any app!
→ Try it with the announcement post
Add to iPhone/iPad/Mac share sheet
Download and install the toot.pics shortcut, then press the share icon on a Mastodon post and run the toot.pics shortcut to view that post's media descriptions.
Add to Android share sheet
Add this website to your home screen, then press the share icon on a Mastodon post and select toot.picsto view that post's media descriptions.
Frequently asked questions...
Why did you make this site?
I built this site so I could easily view media descriptions from any app that supports sharing a Mastodon post link.
Viewing media descriptions (a.k.a. "alt text") on Mastodon isn't always easy or possible, especially if you're using an app that's in an alpha or beta stage (I have many Mastodon apps in TestFlight on my iPhone).
Media descriptions are very important for accessibility, and I find them interesting to read. Also, if a post I come across has media and I want to boost it, I will only boost if there are good descriptions for the media, so viewing media descriptions is critical for me when using Mastodon.
Aren't media descriptions just for screen readers?
Alt text is for everyone! A few things to consider:
- If media is confusing or unclear the description can provide useful information
- Some people who don't use screen readers prefer to read the description instead
- If media can't load due to an error or because the viewer has images/video/audio turned off they'll see the description instead
- One of the best ways to write great alt text for your own posts is to read what other people are writing
How can I write good media descriptions?
Here's the most useful and concise advice I've heard when it comes to writing great media descriptions:
Imagine you're talking to someone on the phone who can't look at what you're seeing; how would you explain your media to them? That's your media description.
Beyond that, one thing I want to stress is that media which contains text needs a description which contains that text.
Here are some other resources for writing great media descriptions:
- Image descriptions on the Fediverse
- Alternative Text at WebAIM
- MDN's article on the
altattribute for images
- Just How Long Should Alt Text Be? at CSS-Tricks
And don't forget to read other people's media descriptions for inspiration!
This site doesn't keep track of any personal information, and only works on public posts. Only basic web server logs and the total number of post and media attachment views (shown in the footer) are recorded.
What about cookies?
Bug fixes and performance improvements, with details!
- Fixed: The Android install/share functionality has been adjusted, fully tested, and is now out of beta
- Improved: The icon for toot.pics which shows up on your Android home screen has been improved.
- Improved: Edited the instructions for both Apple and Android devices on the home page to be more clear
- Improved: New social media image with a short description of what the site does
- Improved: Sensitive posts are now displayed better, especially ones without a content warning/summary
- Improved: New social media sharing and link preview image which now includes a short description of the site
- Improved: Minor visual and style improvements, including optimizations for people with CSS turned off
- New: Added Image descriptions on the Fediverse to the FAQ as another useful resource for writing great media descriptions
- Improved: Updated Apple shortcut to stop and respond with an error message early if no link is shared (thanks to Rosemary Orchard's recommendation)
- Improved: Added margin between the author information and the first media attachment when viewing a post with only media attachments
- Improved: Made some minor improvements to the site description and homepage copy
- Improved: Minor adjustments to fix issues with Safari and Chrome performance and accessibility audits
- New: Added Updates section to the home page
- Fixed: Sometimes multiple URLs would be passed from a share sheet into the
urlquery parameter (all of the links in the post plus the link to the post itself) which previously caused an error; now toot.pics will find the Mastodon post URL and discard the others
- Improved: Error handling has been improved to handle unexpected Mastodon API responses and deleted/missing posts more gracefully
- Initial release!