A key included on PC and other standard keyboards that is used in conjunction with another key to produce some special feature or function and is typically marked with the letters Alt.

The variable used in an HTML img tag that specifies the description the image should have. The description shows up before the image has loaded, or when a user moves their mouse over the image and lets it stay there for a few seconds.

alpha particles = A = alt bit

alt /awlt/

1. n. The alt shift key on an IBM PC or clone keyboard; see bucky bits, sense 2 (though typical PC usage does not simply set the 0200 bit). 2. n. The `option' key on a Macintosh; use of this term usually reveals that the speaker hacked PCs before coming to the Mac (see also feature key, which is sometimes incorrectly called `alt'). 3. n.,obs. [PDP-10; often capitalized to ALT] Alternate name for the ASCII ESC character (ASCII 0011011), after the keycap labeling on some older terminals; also `altmode' (/awlt'mohd/). This character was almost never pronounced `escape' on an ITS system, in TECO, or under TOPS-10 -- always alt, as in "Type alt alt to end a TECO command" or "alt-U onto the system" (for "log onto the [ITS] system"). This usage probably arose because alt is more convenient to say than `escape', especially when followed by another alt or a character (or another alt and a character, for that matter). 4. The alt hierarchy on Usenet, the tree of newsgroups created by users without a formal vote and approval procedure. There is a myth, not entirely implausible, that alt is acronymic for "anarchists, lunatics, and terrorists"; but in fact it is simply short for "alternative".

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Alt (#), a. & n. [See Alto.] Mus.

The higher part of the scale. See Alto.

To be in alt, to be in an exalted state of mind.


© Webster 1913.

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