Text size and page width: accessibility for developers

  • Author: Access iQ ®
  • Date: 1 Feb 2013
  • Access: Premium

Quick facts

The ability to control the size of text displayed on a webpage is fundamental to ensuring that many people with low vision are able to perceive web content.

  • Ensure text can be resized up to 200 per cent without loss of content or functionality
  • Do not use image of text, where possible

Most modern browsers provide a means by which the user can change the size of the text displayed. This is a reflection of the widespread need to control text size, including by people who do not identify as having a disability. Many people need to control text size only in particular circumstances.

While facilities to provide this resize functionality may be out of the control of the developer, it is part of the developer's job to ensure that neither the web content itself nor the structures that present the content prevent the user from resizing the text to suit their accessibility needs.

In some situations, the developer may also be asked to ensure that the user is made aware that a mechanism to resize text exists.

It is also worth noting that text may be present on a webpage in the form of an image and it must be made accessible too. These issues are covered in more detail in the topic on images and text alternatives for developers.

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