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Technique G153:Making the text easier to read


All technologies.

This technique relates to 3.1.5: Reading Level (Sufficient).


The objective of this technique is to ensure that the text of the Web page is not difficult to read. Users with disabilities that make it difficult to decode words and sentences are likely to have trouble reading and understanding complex text. If the text does not require reading ability more advanced than the lower secondary education level, no supplements or alternative versions are needed.

In order to reduce the complexity of the text:

  • Develop a single topic or subtopic per paragraph.
  • Use the simplest sentence forms consistent with the purpose of the content. For example, the simplest sentence form for English consists of Subject-Verb-Object, as in John hit the ball or The Web site conforms to WCAG 2.1.
  • Use sentences that are no longer than the typical accepted length for secondary education. (Note: In English that is 25 words.)
  • Consider dividing longer sentences into two.
  • Use sentences that contain no more than two conjunctions.
  • Indicate logical relationships between phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or sections of the text.
  • Avoid professional jargon, slang, and other terms with a specialized meaning that may not be clear to people.
  • Replace long or unfamiliar words with shorter, more common terms.
  • Remove redundant words, that is, words that do not change the meaning of the sentence.
  • Use single nouns or short noun phrases.
  • Remove complex words or phrases that could be replaced with more commonly used words without changing the meaning of the sentence.
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists instead of paragraphs that contain long series of words or phrases separated by commas.
  • Make clear pronoun references and references to other points in the document.
  • Use the active voice for documents written in English and some other Western languages, unless there is a specific reason for using passive constructions. Sentences in the active voice are often shorter and easier to understand than those in the passive voice.
  • Use verb tenses consistently.
  • Use names and labels consistently.


  • The help pages for a Web application are written in language that is not more advanced than the lower secondary education level.



  1. Measure the readability of the text.
  2. Check that the text requires reading ability less advanced than the lower secondary education level.

Expected Results

  • Check #2 is true.
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