Format your content for improved readability

Contributors

@brandon-leuangpaseuth @andreea-macoveiciuc-content-expert @derek-gleason-3 @paul-boag


Business Benefits

Improve discoverability in search results and increase audience engagement by improving the reading experience.


Ensure a comfortable read line length for copy.

Ensure you have approximately 45–75 characters per line, for the best reading experience. However, on multiple column layouts, this can be reduced.

Be sure that copy is readable against the background.

Be extremely careful when overlaying text on an image. Consider adding a solid color box behind the text, or at least adding an outline behind the characters. When displaying text on a solid color, use a color contrast checker to make sure the text is easy to read.

Limit the number of fonts you use and ensure the fonts you choose are readable onscreen.

  • Limit yourself to one font for body copy and one for headings.
  • Use FontPair to help you choose your font combinations.
  • Ensure body copy is clearly readable at smaller sizes. Favor san-serif fonts, or more modern serif fonts like Georgia, that have been designed for on-screen reading.

Aim for a larger font size and a greater line height.

Set a line height of 1.4–1.6 for paragraphs, and 1–1.2 for header text or large fonts. Aim for a body copy font size of the equivalent of 16px.

Consider readability on small screen devices.

Switch to a single column if you are not already. Sacrifice line length in order to maintain a readable font size. Put a particular emphasis on color contrast to combat screen glare.

Break content into easy to scan chunks.

Make use of:

  • Headings and sub-headings.
  • Pull out quotes.
  • Bold and italic to highlight important content.
  • Lists.
  • Shorter paragraphs of approximately 1-3 sentences.
  • Imagery and video.