Failure of Success Criterion 1.4.8 due to using text that is justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins)

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.1 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.1.

Applicability

All technologies.

This technique relates to Success Criterion 1.4.8: Visual Presentation (Failure).

Description

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 (aligned to both the left and the right margins).

Examples

Example 1

In the following example of a failure, the HTML align attribute is used to create justified text.

 
<p align="justify">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Vestibulum sit amet pede. Phasellus 
nec sem id mauris vehicula tincidunt. Morbi ac arcu. Maecenas vehicula velit et orci. Donec 
ullamcorper porttitor velit. Sed arcu lorem, cursus sit amet, auctor eu, convallis ut, purus. 
Vivamus imperdiet accumsan nunc. Maecenas pellentesque nunc a libero. Vestibulum ante ipsum 
primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Curabitur pharetra commodo 
justo. Nulla facilisi. Phasellus nulla lacus, tempor quis, tincidunt ac, rutrum et, mauris.
</p>

Example 2

In this example of a failure, the CSS text-align property is used to create justified text.

 
...
p {text-align: justify}

...

<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Vestibulum sit amet pede. Phasellus 
nec sem id mauris vehicula tincidunt. Morbi ac arcu. Maecenas vehicula velit et orci. Donec 
ullamcorper porttitor velit. Sed arcu lorem, cursus sit amet, auctor eu, convallis ut, purus. 
Vivamus imperdiet accumsan nunc. Maecenas pellentesque nunc a libero. Vestibulum ante ipsum 
primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Curabitur pharetra commodo 
justo. Nulla facilisi. Phasellus nulla lacus, tempor quis, tincidunt ac, rutrum et, mauris.</p>

Tests

Procedure

  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 test procedure #2 is false, then this failure condition applies and the content fails to meet Success Criterion 1.4.8.