Images of text – accessibility for web writers

Use styled text rather than an image of text wherever it’s technically possible. An image of text is allowed when users can customise the text style or an image is essential.

Benefits of styled text

Styled text is easier to read for people with:

  • reading problems like dyslexia. Particular fonts, line spacing or text alignment might make reading impossible. If text is ‘hard-coded’ into an image, they cannot reformat the text into a more readable style.
  • low vision who use screen magnification software to enlarge content so they can see it. In an image, the text can become pixelated and illegible when the image is magnified.
An example of
Text in an image that becomes pixelated when enlarged

When to use styled text

You should always use styled text for:

  • Headings and sub-headings
  • Captions for photos and graphics
  • ‘Pull quotes’ or other feature text, including promotions
  • Text in the body of your page
  • Text or data in tables.

If you want a particular text treatment for something special, get your web designer or developer to create a style for you to use. Avoid creating an image of text.

An image of text is sometimes acceptable

You can use an image of text when it’s not technically possible to do otherwise. For example, text labels on maps, graphs/charts and diagrams, or text embedded within a screenshot.

You can also use an image of text for logos, and information that needs to be presented in its original format (for instance, an image of an historical document).

References

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