Best Practices

Font size

In this section, we review the two main concerns of font size on the web.

What Is Font Size?

Font size: The size of text visible on the screen.


Before You Begin

Who Are You Doing This For?

This work supports students who:

  • Are blind or have low vision, for example Diana
  • Have a form of cognitive disability
  • Are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Have a physical disability
An image of Diana, woman in her 40's chatting on her cell phone and using her laptop computer with zoomtext

Profile of Diana, original artwork by BCcampus.

 


What Do You Need To Do?

There are two main concerns when working with font sizes.

  1. Ensuring that default font sizes are not too small.
  2. Ensuring that text can be expanded to 200% on websites.[1]

Keep in mind these recommendations and guidelines:

  • 12 point for body text: For most documents, body text should be around 12 points. Small fonts may be illegible for some audiences.
  •  9 point for footnotes: If a document contains footnotes or endnotes, the minimum size should be about 9 points
  • 200% zoom: The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) recommend ensuring that text can be zoomed to 200%. As well, we recommend using liquid layouts[2] that can accommodate 200% text.

 


  1. http://sites.psu.edu/accessibility/fontsizehtml/
  2. Liquid layout are layouts that are based on percentages of the current browser window's size. They flex with the size of the window, even if the current viewer changes their browser size as they're viewing the site. Liquid width layouts allow a very efficient use of the space provided by any given Web browser window or screen resolution.