1.4.5 - Images of text

Use real text rather than images of text.


Text must not be presented as part of an image because it cannot be resized, and it deteriorates in quality when magnified.


  • With the exception of text in logos, graphs and diagrams, the page does not contain any image of text;
  • Text is presented using plain text (styled in code rather than using images).

Common mistakes

  • Images contain text.


This is so that everyone is able to read and access information presented in text.

Images are an inflexible way to present text information. The text can blur when magnified or enlarged, is difficult to adapt for users wishing to change the colour, language or spacing, and is not available to assistive technology such as screen readers. Additionally, images can be slow to download and require more data.

Official wording in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

1.4.5 Images of Text: If the technologies being used can achieve the visual presentation, text is used to convey information rather than images of text except for the following: (Level AA)

  • Customizable: The image of text can be visually customized to the user's requirements;
  • Essential: A particular presentation of text is essential to the information being conveyed. Logotypes (text that is part of a logo or brand name) are considered essential.

See the W3C's detailed explanation of this guideline with techniques and examples.