E-text Formatting

Proper formatting, accomplished through heading markup, makes the document's navigational structure understandable to screen readers, refreshable Braille, and other assistive technologies (whereas merely using a larger or bolder font to indicate a section heading makes the document appear to be one long paragraph). Proper formatting makes the hierarchical relationships inherent in the content readily apparent to all readers, with or without disabilities. 

Best Practice

Use styling features of the authoring program to assign headings and other styles to the document. Avoid applying direct formatting such as making text a large font, bold, and centered to represent a header.

Benefits to Users & Developers

  • Improves consistency in styling and identification of the document.
  • Creates a navigation and logical hierarchy.
  • Enables keyboard users to efficiently navigate the content of the document.
  • llows authors to easily make any needed formatting changes through the document.
  • Allows easy conversion into other formats, if needed.


  • Applying formatting features in Microsoft Word
  • Applying formatting features in Pages
  • Formatting examples in LaTeX