Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G169: Aligning text on only one side


All technologies.

This technique relates to:


Many people with cognitive disabilities have a great deal of trouble with blocks of text that are justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins). The spaces between words create "rivers of white" running down the page, which can make the text difficult for some people to read. This failure describes situations where this confusing text layout occurs. The best way to avoid this problem is not to create text layout that is fully justified.


Example 1

For most technologies, simply leave out any alignment declarations. For example, the following text will be justified to the left by default in HTML where the language of the page is left to right.

Example Code:

                Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ...

Example 2

A Web page includes sections with mixed alignment. Paragraphs in the body of the page are aligned to the left margin. The text also includes a number of pulled quotations which are aligned to the right margin.



  1. Open the page in a common browser.

  2. Verify that content is not justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins).

Expected Results

If this is a sufficient technique for a success criterion, failing this test procedure does not necessarily mean that the success criterion has not been satisfied in some other way, only that this technique has not been successfully implemented and can not be used to claim conformance.

Techniques are Informative

Techniques are informative—that means they are not required. The basis for determining conformance to WCAG 2.0 is the success criteria from the WCAG 2.0 standard—not the techniques. For important information about techniques, please see the Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria section of Understanding WCAG 2.0.