Show alt-text for XKCD comic

Please show the alt-text for the webcomic XKCD automatically.

Google Reader would automatically show the alt-text for XKCD below the comic itself - this really helped when on mobile devices.


Alternately, you could subscribe to the unobfuscated alt-text feed that someone crafted up in Yahoo Pipes:…


Well this works just swimmingly! This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

Yes, that works, but Pipes can be hours behind the actual feed, which is a bit of a pain. Also not a general solution (XKCD isn’t the only comic that does this.)

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The normal feed I get from XKCD ( displays alt text correctly. What feed are you using?

I apologize, I didn’t get exactly what you meant on my first read.

As you pointed out, Yahoo Pipes really can’t solve every situation automatically, and even if it could it would be extremely annoying because you would need to make custom feeds for each feed you follow.

The only proper solution would be to implement this directly on Newsblur, taking the Alt text and adding as a caption below the image or something.

Not to compare everything to Google Reader, but the way it did this on the Android app was to tap and hold for 1sec and “Show Caption” was one of the options.

Eventually I’ll do this.

Hi all - so I set this up AGES ago when I was still using Google Reader, as I wanted to read the alt-text on my phone. Feel free to use and abuse, just subscribe to this:

It’s 100% live and never behind. Enjoy!

Any progress on this?

It is quite a general solution.

You can clone the XKCD one, and just paste the new URL in.…

The downside to that is if you only subscribe to that feed, you don’t get the advantage of the public comments posted by everyone else who subscribes to the read XKCD feed.

Any new xkcd I have seen in the last months had one or even several public comments with the alt text. So you just need some patience and the community will solve this “problem” on it’s own.

I had meant displaying the alt text directly below the image, without having to rely on hovering to view it. You cannot hover on a mobile device, so I was missing the additional commentary. Google Reader automatically displayed the alt-text without having to hover and I got spoiled ;). The Yahoo Pipes feed linked above gave me exactly what I was looking for, although ecognito makes a good point above - its not a general solution that works for other web comics.


Has this ever been implemented?

Yep, both mobile apps let you long press on an image to read the alt text

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Only it does not seem to show it on my phone (Android). Am I doing something wrong? I longpressed the image.

Am I the only one who sees this?

yes. is your version of the app up to date?

Yes, I t hink so, version 12.0.1, updated on September 2 2022.