Oh Caption Writer Documentation

The Oh Caption, My Caption browser plugin is intended to enhance the user-experience of reading social-media websites with screen-reading assistance. Oh Caption is powered by sighted users who add captions and descriptions to social media images using the Oh Caption plugin. These captions and descriptions are then available to users of the Oh Caption plugin who are browsing social media with screen-reading assistance.

Oh Caption supports one-line captions and longer descriptions. Any given image may have a caption, a description, both, or neither.

This document describes how to install and use the Oh Caption plugin to write captions and descriptions to improve the user-experience of visually-impaired users.

Getting Started

The first thing to do is to install the plugin. There is detailed documentation in the guide for Readers on how to Install the Oh Caption browser plugin. If you are running on Chrome, you should pay special attention to the end of the installation instructions on how to set the hot-key used to toggle the plugin on and off.

There is information in the guide for Readers about Setting your Preferences. The only preference available at the moment specifies whether or not Oh Caption should be started automatically on each page load.

It will also be good to familiarize yourself with the section of the guide for Readers about Using the Plugin to Read on the Web. After that, move on to the next section here about using the Plugin to Write captions and descriptions.


Once you have the Oh Caption plugin installed and enabled, you can hover over any image on a web page and see a tool-tip popup with the current caption for the image. If there is an image description, there will be a small Oh Caption logo in the bottom corner of the image which you can click on to see the description.

If you notice that the caption or description for an image is missing or deficient, you can right-click on the image to bring up a context-sensitive menu. One of the items in this menu will be Edit Caption.

Context menu with 'Edit Caption' selected

This will launch a new browser window to let you edit the caption. The new window has a box for the caption, a box for the description, and a save button. The page also shows the image being captioned.

If there is already an Oh Caption caption or description for this image, you will be able to modify that information. You will also be presented with a dropdown menu to select the Reason you are modifying the caption.

Oh Caption edit window

Tips for Writing Good Captions

The most important things to keep in mind is that the primary audience for the captions you write are human beings who cannot see (or cannot easily see) the image you are commenting on.

If you are having trouble writing a description or caption, try this:

If your text is relatively short and doesn't benefit much from being broken into multiple lines, then it is probably best to present it as a caption. If the text is long and/or benefits from being formatted a bit, then it is probably best to present it as a description. In many cases, it may be appropriate to provide both a summarizing caption and a long description.

Here is a picture which only requires a brief caption.

Trump, seated, leaning forward to speak
Caption: Trump, seated, leaning forward to speak

Here is a picture which requires a longer description.

Description: Photo in two parts. Top shows two men in cowboy hats with text: "Heavily armed white guys take over a federal facility for 41 days... acquitted." Bottom shows police in riot gear standing over a bunch of people sitting on the ground with text: "Unarmed Native Americans defend their own land from corporate destruction... maced, beaten, arrested, kept in dog kennels, charged with trespassing & rioting."

Many memes are written in all caps. Unless it is critical to the feeling of the meme, feel free to use more conventional mixed-case. Additionally, many times, the layout of text in a meme takes the place of punctuation. Please, include whatever punctuation you feel is necessary to convey the flow of the meme. For example, there are no lowercase letters or punctuation in the meme below, but both seem more appropriate for the caption or description.

Close up photo of cat looking startled. Text: Can spot a bird from across the yard. Can't find the piece of meat you dropped unless you point it out 10 times.

If you find yourself typing in a large amount of text which looks like a screenshot of some social media site, you can often find the original page by searching for the first sentence on Google. If you find it with Google, you can copy-paste that text in as most of the description.


Does Oh Caption track my browsing?

When you are browsing with Oh Caption, the plugin sends a list of every image on the pages you browse. That information is not recorded anywhere in the Oh Caption databases. While some web server logs might show the number of requests made from your internet connection to the Oh Caption server, none of the information from those logs says anything about what page or images you were viewing.

The Oh Caption website does not use cookies, and all communication with the Oh Caption website is encrypted using a secure HTTP connection.

The first time you create a caption or description (or modifiy an existing caption or description), the Oh Caption plugin creates a unique identifier on your computer. This unique identifier is sent only when creating or modifying captions and descriptions. Oh Caption only uses that identifier to block accounts that use Oh Caption to spam readers.

How Is Oh Caption Funded?

Oh Caption does not sell advertising nor charge for the use of its plugin. Oh Caption was created voluntarily. If you would like to donate funds for its on-going support and future development, you are welcome to donate here.

Why Can't I Caption This Image?

Some things that look like images on the web are really empty boxes with an image on the background. These are not perceived as images by the web browser in the same way that other images are. Unfortunately, there is no work-around for this problem at the moment.

If you select Inspect Element from the same context menu you would find Edit Caption in, you can see the HTML for that section. If it is an image (or a tag with an image not too far down inside of it), please report this as a bug. See the support section below for how to report this bug.

How Can I Convince Friends And Media Sources to Use Oh Caption

Oh Caption is crowd-sourced. Its power comes from people like you. The more people who use it to write captions, the more likely there will be captions on the images where they are most needed.

Please spread the word. For more information about how best to do this, see the section of the Help-Us page about Evangelizing.

If there is a particular media site to whom you wish we would pitch Oh Caption, please send email to promoting@ohcaption.com.


If you find bugs, please report them using the nklein bug database or email them to bugs@ohcaption.com. When submitting a bug, please include details about what Web Browser, Operating System, and Website you are using. If it wouldn't be an invasion of your privacy to do so, please save the web page with Save Page As with the Web Page, complete format and attach it to your bug report.

If you need help using Oh Caption for writing, please email writer-support@ohcaption.com