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Understanding and Using Styles

This section will explain why we use styles, and show you how to apply them to your document.

We consulted with DAISY and our own testing and development in creating these guidelines. This documentation is designed to create the most accessible ebook.

We are constantly testing and redeveloping the way we create accessible books, and industry standards are constantly improving. We do our best to keep this documentation updated.

Why styles

We use the Style Pane to format text, and not direct formatting (i.e. we do not use the tools in the toolbar).

Styles allow readers to change how the formatting is presented.

For example, a reader can change the thickness of a bolded word if it has been marked up with the Strong style.

If direct formatting is used, readers can't change the content in a way that works for them (e.g. they are unable to load their own style set).

The built in styles for Word are fine for EPUB3 production and we do not have to modify them in our workflow.

There are few exceptions to this rule. We use direct formatting for:

A style is a set of formatting characteristics applied to content.

Always use styles in the Style Pane to control formatting, such as font type, size, bold, italics, etc. In this way, non-visible code gets added to the piece of text that says ‘this is a heading’ (or table, list, image, etc.).

Only use the style pane as directed in this wiki to apply styles to ensure the etext is accessible (unless otherwise instructed).

Styles also give a hierarchical structure to a document’s content. With styles applied, assistive technology can, at the command of the user, jump to the desired part of the document (heading, table, list, images, links, etc.).

By applying this type of formatting, people who have low vision may be able to access and read documents as quickly and as efficiently as those who have good vision.

The image below illustrates how readers using assistive technologies can navigate a document using styles, moving between navigational points, lists, images, and tables.

Spacing is also important for accessibility. Ensure that you remove:
  • TAB characters used to provide indentation
  • Multiple Paragraph ‘Return’ characters (¶) used to provide spacing between paragraphs
  • Newline breaks (↵)
  • Multiple SPACE characters

If any of this exists in the document, then it is not properly formatted with styles. You will need to remove these spaces. See Find & Replace for more instructions.

Be aware that Word can be glitchy sometimes and even though you applied the style the underlining code will remain. Always ensure you clear formatting before applying styles. If the issue persists, then simply select the problem text, clear formatting again and reapply the style.
Sometimes a books justification can be erratic in a book, though this does not effect the final product, it can be easier when you are editing to make sure everything is left justified. Headings and block quotes do not need to be left justified. Here is a video showing you how to do this.

Applying & Changing Styles

Once you have Word set up properly, and all the formatting cleared, you will be able to begin applying styles to the document as per the guidelines in this wiki.

The first step is to clear all formatting in the document:

  • Make sure the Style Pane is open
  • Select all of the text
    • COMMAND+A for Mac
    • CTRL+A for Windows PC
  • Select the clear formatting button located at the top of the Apply a Style box in the Style Pane

Here is a video showing how to do this!

To Apply Styles:

  • First select the text you want to apply a style to
  • Then select the appropriate style in the Style Pane
  • Now that text will be in the selected style

The common styles used are:

If you need to fix a mistake in an applied style:
  • Select section you need to fix
  • Clear all formatting using the Style Pane
  • Reapply the correct style

Here is a video to show you how to apply and fix styles!

You can select Show style guides to help keep track of the styles applied in the document. This option is at the bottom of the Style Pane. Once selected it will open a colour coded menu at the left side of the document page. Each colour also has a number, each colour and number correspond to the style you have applied to any given section

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public/nnels/etext/styles.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/23 10:48 by rachel.osolen