Use italic text sparingly Usability Guideline


Use italic text sparingly - for one or two words or a short phrase.


Keep runs of styled text to less than 70 characters. When used well, styled text draws attention to important words, but also decreases reading speed by almost twenty percent.

Applicable standards

Note: The website has been down since July 2020, although is still operating and the PDF version of the guidelines is still available.

Change history

  • 5.2 May 2013 Updated priority to match April 2013 version of guidelines.
  • 4.0 Jun 2010 Changed limit from 50 to 70.
  • 1.0 Feb 2007 Added.

This page describes a web site issue detected in HTML documents by SortSite Desktop and OnDemand Suite.

Rule ID: UseGov11.10