Home ›› Strategies ›› Use friendly text formatting

Use friendly text formatting


There are five basic things you should NOT do to make text accessible. And five things you should do.

Do not!

  1. Use all CAPS (text IN ALL CAPS is much more difficult to process)
  2. Underline text (underlined text is harder to process because letters are distorted)
  3. Use italics (italicised text is distorted and harder to read
  4. Justify text (it makes it more difficult to find one’s way around; use left-align)
  5. Centre text (fine for one line titles but longer text is hard to read when centred)


  1. Use larger font (at least 12 or 14 point)
  2. Use larger line spacing (at least 1.2 lines)
  3. Use bullets and numbers for lists
  4. Present text in small chunks with headings
  5. Highlight key words or phrases in bold or colour (never whole paragraphs)

Related difficulties and strategies 

Presenting text in a way that reduces processing time will benefit people with dyslexia. They struggle with processing text anyway, why put extra barriers in their way?

But all of these dos and don’ts will be beneficial for anyone. All of these rules are general good practice. But people who struggle with reading will benefit most.


No resources are needed.

But you will have to constantly remind yourself not to slip into bad habits. You should also learn how to use key functions of word to use things like colour.