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Formatting documents and webpages

Formatting documentClick to expand

Note that many of the guidelines listed here improve the readability of materials for all readers including speakers of English as a second language and the visually impaired.


  1. Some recommended fonts are Helvetica, Courier, Arial, Verdana and Computer Modern Unicode. Sans serif, roman type and monospaced fonts are preferred. Some people with dyslexia find fonts such as Open Dyslexic to be helpful.
  2. Do not use small text sizes. Twelve pixels and above is recommended.
  3. Use dark coloured fonts on a light (but not white) background.
  4. For emphasis, use larger font sizes and boldface. Use normal capitalisation and do not underline or use italics.
  5. Use left justification (right ragged).
  6. Use 1.5 to 2 line spacing and additional spacing between paragraphs.
  7. Use numbered lists instead of bulleted lists as these make items in a list easier to keep track of.
  8. Offer downloadable versions of text.
  9. For electronic versions of text, use formats that can be read by a screen reader.


  1. A light grey (#FFFFE5) background is recommended instead of white. Pastel coloured backgrounds are also recommended.
  2. Use paper that is opaque (the writing on the other side should not show through).
  3. Do not use glossy paper.


  1. Be concise. Use short paragraphs. Use simple sentences.
  2. Use active voice instead of passive voice.
  3. Use diagrams and images to illustrate complex ideas.


  1. Use simple presentation. Avoid putting too much information on one page. Do not create pages that require a lot of scrolling.
  2. Use functional pictures, icons and symbols alongside text but avoid using animations.
  3. Use headings.

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Supporting Adult and Adolescent Students with Dyslexia

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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