From Low Vision Accessibility Task Force

SC Shortname


SC Text

For the visual presentation of blocks of text, a mechanism is available for user to select level of text justification.

Suggested Priority Level

Level AA

Related Glossary additions or changes

River of White

gaps in typesetting (text), which appear to run through a paragraph of text, due to a coincidental alignment of spaces. The rivers can occur regardless of the spacing settings, but are most noticeable with wide inter-word spaces caused by full text justification or mono-spaced fonts. [Wikipedia: River (typography)]


In typography, an optical path of white space that sometimes occurs when word spaces in successive lines of type occur immediately below each other and continue for several lines. This is distracting to the eye and aesthetically undesirable, and may be corrected by moving words from line to line in order to position the word spaces. Also known as a river of white. [Graphic Design Glossary]


An irregular ‘river’ of white space that runs through a column of text. [Prepressure Printing Dictionary]

What Principle and Guideline the SC falls within.

Principle 1, Guideline 1.4


Simply Put: You can align all text on the left with a ragged right margin, like an essay. You can align on the right with a ragged left, like a column of numbers. You can align on both sides like a newspaper. Or you can center all text like the menu at a fancy restaurant. It is your choice.


Justification or alignment options usually include: left, right, full/both, centered.

Justification impacts readability and tracking. Sometimes full justification makes reading more difficult because extra space between words causes "rivers of white" making it difficult to track along a line of text, or less space between words makes it difficult to distinguish separate words. Some people find it easier to track from the end of one line to the next with full justification, and others prefer left justification (for left-to-right scripts). [Draft Note: The Task Force plans to add a glossary definition for “river” or “river of white”. For now, here's an explanation and example: River (typography).]

User Need: Users can change the justification / alignment (left, right, full/both, centered) of blocks of text.

Source: Accessibility Requirements for People with Low Vision, Section 3.4.4


$$Description of how this SC can be tested. This may include manual, automated, or semi-automated mechanisms.$$


Existing Relevant Techniques

  • $$All existing techniques for x.x.x$$

New Techniques

  • $$New technique: Title$$

Related Information







Wiki Pages