No loss of content or functionality occurs when users change letter, word and paragraph spacing, as well as line height. (Level AA)


Objective: Let users adjust text spacing to make it easier to read

The key intended beneficiaries for Text Spacing are users with low vision or cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia. If authors ensure that their content can be transormed to meet specific targets for text spacing, then content is likely to support other adaptations of its presentation in order to meet a variety of specific user needs.

To ensure this checkpoint can be measured for success (or failure), WCAG has listed specific requirements for a number of different text transformations, which need to be attained in combination without loss of content or functionality:

  • Line height (line spacing) to at least 1.5 times the font size;
  • Spacing following paragraphs to at least 2 times the font size;
  • Letter spacing (tracking) to at least 0.12 times the font size;
  • Word spacing to at least 0.16 times the font size.

It is important to emphasize that authors does not need to create content that uses these as the default text presentation. Instead, the intent is for authors to confirm that their content can be transformed to meet these objectives (such as through user style sheets) without loss of content or functionality. The WCAG Understanding document provides several examples of how content can be lost. These objectives also need to be achieved without modifying other style properties. For instance, the author cannot choose a condensed font family which would make it less likely for an increase in text spacing to overflow the available container.

Language exception: Where the communication language used in the content, or the script in which the language is written, do not make use of one or more of these text style properties, that language need only conform using the properties that exist.

Technology exception: This checkpoint is restricted to content implemented using markup langugages that support text styling properties. Techologies that do not use markup, such as PDF, are excluded.

IBM has simplified the normative language of this checkpoint. Refer to Understanding 1.4.12 (external link to WCAG) for more information.

Development Techniques

This paragraph appears generically in all checkpoints. Review the General techniques as well as other tabs applicable to your technology.  Prioritize the use of technology-specific techniques, and implement the General techniques as needed. You are always required to find, understand and implement accessible code techniques to meet the checkpoint. The documented techniques and supplements are not exhaustive; they illustrate acceptable ways to achieve the spirit of the checkpoint. If numbered, techniques are in order of preference, with recommended techniques listed first. Where used, IBM information that complements the WCAG techniques is indicated as supplemental.

General techniques

There are currently no sufficient General techniques. Ensure you review WCAG Common Failures to avoid development mistakes.

Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques

In addition to the General techniques, any item in this section represents a technique deemed sufficient.

Mobile Native (iOS) techniques

There are no specific Mobile Native iOS techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Eclipse techniques

There are no specific Eclipse techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques

There are no specific Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Many links in this checklist reside outside at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. W3C Recommendation 05 June 2018:

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