23 March 2023
What is the difference between Large Print and e-text?
By Amelia Ling
Large Print and e-text are both alternative formats for people with a print disability.
If someone has a print disability, this means they have a visual impairment or a learning disability that impacts their ability to read, such as dyslexia.
What is similar?
For both Large Print and e-text, all text must be font size 18 and left aligned. It is easier for someone with a visual impairment to read left aligned text as they can predict where the next line will start.
We also use heading levels to separate text into titles, subheadings, and standard text. This allows readers to distinguish a hierarchy of reading, for example, titles are read before subheadings, and subheadings before paragraphs of text.
What is different?
There are a few important differences.
According to the NHS, over 2 million people in the UK are visually impaired or Blind. This means over 2 million people could benefit from alternative formats such as Large Print or e-text. However, not everyone who uses e-text can read Large Print, so it’s good to know how they are different and who they are for.
Large Print is not a suitable format for people who are Blind, even though blindness is a print disability.
This is because Large Print is not digitally accessible and so it cannot be read by all accessible software such as refreshable braille displays, screen readers and screen magnifiers.
Large Print is meant to be printed onto yellow paper for readability. Black text on yellow paper provides the reader with optimum colour contrast. You can ask for your Large Print document to be converted into pdf, but it will not be digitally accessible.
Images and alternative text
We will try not to include images in your Large Print document, unless you feel they are necessary for someone to understand your document. All images will then be grey scaled for high contrast against the yellow paper.
Unlike Large Print, e-text includes images as they can be described using alternative text. Alternative text describes what someone who is blind or visually impaired cannot see. It is a written description of any non-text items on the page, read out loud by a screen reader.
Hyper links and page numbers
The way we format hyperlinks is also different between Large Print and e-text. Large Print uses full links whilst e-text uses clickable links for online use. Clickable links can also be used to navigate pages, instead of the use of page numbers.
We include page numbers in Large Print documents as they are printed, whereas we programme e-text documents to follow a certain reading order when read by accessible software.
We follow many guidelines to create Large Print and e-text , so if you still aren’t sure which format is best for you, please just ask. We can talk to you about who your document is for and help you to decide.
Contact A2i’s friendly team: