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Use symbols and images with text


Don’t just use plain text. Use symbols and pictures to illustrate and differentiate. You can:

  • Use symbols to mark different sections. They don’t have to be exact illustrations, just something to form an association. Such as are used on LDD Navigator.
  • Use symbols for steps in a workflow
  • Put symbols or pictures next to text to illustrate the key point (as in Easy Read)

Related difficulties and strategies 

Images with text are helpful to people who struggle with reading and/or comprehension.

People with dyslexia will benefit from having anchors in the text to help them process it.

People with a learning disability or autism will benefit from additional non-verbal sources of information to help them understand the content of the text.


There are many sources of images. Some are included as clipart in Word and PowerPoint.

But you can also use one of the repositories of images, such as those available to all UK prisons or those online.

There are also many online repositories such as the Noun Project where we found icons to use for this website.

There are also specialised software packages that will attach symbols to all words. One such is Widgit. However, but it may not be possible to install such software on any computer you are using.

Note: When using images from online sources, make sure you understand any licensing restrictions. For example, the Noun Project images are free to use but you must always give credit to the creators.