Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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C8: Using CSS letter-spacing to control spacing within a word


All technologies that support CSS.

This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to demonstrate how the visual appearance of spacing in text may be enhanced via style sheets while still maintaining meaningful text sequencing. The CSS letter-spacing property helps developers control the amount of white space between characters. This is recommended over adding blank characters to control the spacing, since the blank characters can change the meaning and pronunciation of the word.


Example 1: Separating characters in a word

The following CSS would add the equivalent of a space between each character in a level-2 heading:

Example Code:

h2 {	letter-spacing: 1em; }

So for the markup:

Example Code:


the rendered result might look something like:

Example Code:

M u s e u m


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For each word that appears to have non-standard spacing between characters:

  1. Check whether the CSS letter-spacing property was used to control spacing.

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.