Using some simple base standards for font types allows reading material to become easier to read and more accessible to students. Things to consider, in terms of font, are size, type and colour/contrast. Below is a section on each of these key areas, with a brief description on how to change each setting.

Font type

When choosing a font type, simple, clear fonts are preferable. Fonts such as Arial or Calibri work well. Stylised fonts can be harder to read.

How to change font type

The font type is found under the home tab on MS Word. There will be a drop down choice of font types with samples of how they will look.

To change the font type before typing, simply select the relevant font from the dropdown list. When you then start to type, the font will be in your chosen font.

To change the font type of existing text, highlight the text to be changed and then select the relevant font from the dropdown menu. You will see the text change immediately.

Font size

A font size minimum of 12 is recommended to be as clear as possible. If students have access to well-structured word documents, they can alter this to suit their needs, however a basic standard of 12 will reduce the likelihood of this.

How to change font size

The font size is found under the home tab on MS Word. There will be a drop down choice of font size with the option of typing a numbered size into the available box. To change the font size before typing, simply select the relevant size from the dropdown list, or type the desired size number into the available box. Once you then start typing the font will be in your chosen size.

To change existing text, highlight the text to be changed and then select the relevant size from the dropdown menu or type the desired size number into the available box. You will see the text change immediately.

Font colour and contrast

This is a key aspect to consider. It can be tempting to change font colours for effect, however it is important to consider the impact of this. For example, yellow text on a white background is particularly difficult to read and so a clear contrast such as black on white works well. Some students will find black on white difficult to read, however it is possible for screen colours to be tinted and this is something the disability team can show students how to do.

How to change font colour

Once you have decided which colour of font you wish to use, this can be changed under the home tab in MS Word. Along the ribbon of tools in the home tab, there is a section called font. Within this section there is an
icon with a capital “A” with a strip of colour underneath it.

To change font colour prior to typing, click the drop down colour next to “A” icon and select the colour you wish to use. Once selected simply start typing.

To change font colour of existing text, highlight the text to change, and then choose the desired colour in the same manner as described above.