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Best Practices and Standards (NEW VERSION)

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General tips for making text accessible

Making your LibGuide accessible

  • Don't use colour as a way to convey meaning or importance. Colourblind users and screenreaders may not pick up on colour changes.
  • Use bold or italics in the rich text editor to indicate emphasis, but use them sparingly. 
  • Don't mix different font types. Stick to Arial across all guide content.
  • Avoid changing the font size unless you have good reason. Use the Headings format to indicate sections of the text (see the Headings box).
  • Underlining text that is not a hyperlink is best avoided as it causes confusion.
  • Avoid relying on non-HTML content that may not be accessible, like PDF or PowerPoint documents.


  • Make sure link and database assets display their description below the link. Don't hide the description behind a hover-over button as this breaks accessibility. You can do this by choosing the 'Links & Lists' style of Links box rather than the 'Simple Web Links' in version 1, or choosing the 'Display beneath item title' option in version 2.

For example:

Version 1

 Link box types v1 screenshot 

Version 2

link description options v2 screenshot

  • Break up long list of items into logical groups so that it can be skipped by screen readers.
  • Make sure linked text makes sense out of context. Ambiguous phrasing obscures what the link is about.

For example:

Visit the Accessibility page for more information. (good: clear where the link goes)

Click here for more information about accessibility. (bad: unclear where the link goes)


  • All images need to have alternate text (ALT tags) included. You can check this by double-clicking the image when in the rich text edit mode. This is the text the screen reader sees and reads to the user, and is also used for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Take a moment to think about the image, how it is being used and what search terms might be useful. 
  • If the image links to a resource make sure the image ALT tag also describes the destination.

For example:

screenshot of image properties menu