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Web Style Guide

Help using the site


The Web Style Guide home page contains links to all the pages in the site. The main eight sections of the site — Process, Interface Design, Site Design, Page Design, Typography, Editorial Style, Graphics, and Multimedia — are always accessible from the right navigation bar. The Web Style Guide banner at the top of every page provides a direct link back to the home page. The bottom of each page has a printing option for the page and for the chapter or section. The navigation also supports a linear path via PREVIOUS (ALT-p on Windows or CONTROL-p on Macintosh) and NEXT (ALT-n on Windows or CONTROL-n on Macintosh) links at the bottom of each page. You can also access the site information and help via the site links at page bottom.

Screen reader access

This site was designed to be read by a screen reader. The first link on the page is a hidden "Skip to main content" link that allows users who have their Web pages read to them to skip directly to the main content of the page, bypassing links and site graphics. The second link is a hidden "Skip to section navigation" link that jumps users to the right-column section links. Additionally, all relevant graphics have alternate text. We have tried to make all of our text content a "good read" by paying attention to phrasing and punctuation, and by designing our layout tables to make sense when read linearly.

Keyboard shortcuts

For software that supports the ACCESSKEY attribute, we have defined the following five keyboard shortcuts:

  • Skip to main content: ALT-m (Windows), CONTROL-m (Macintosh).
  • Skip to section navigation: ALT-s (Windows), CONTROL-s (Macintosh).
  • Jump to top of page: ALT-t (Windows), CONTROL-t (Macintosh).
  • Go to next page: ALT-n (Windows), CONTROL-n (Macintosh).
  • Go to previous page: ALT-p (Windows), CONTROL-p (Macintosh).

Text size

The Web is a flexible medium, meaning people can adapt their view of Web pages to meet their needs and preferences. Text size is something that needs to be flexible, so we are using style sheets and relative units to set the text size on our pages. We do not specify a size for the main text, and specify all other text elements relative to the main text (e.g., captions are set as ".9em", which means just a bit smaller than the main text). This means that the main text displays at the default size that you have defined in your browser preferences.

Users who would like to enlarge or reduce the text size on the page can do so by applying a custom style sheet or changing the default text size (in browser preferences), or by using the browser's text zoom feature normally located under the View menu.


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