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Styles & Headings

Why styles

A style is a set of formatting characteristics applied to content. Always use styles to control formatting, such as font type, size, paragraph spacing, bold, italics, underline, etc. Do not use the Word toolbar (aka 'direct formatting'). In this way, non-visible code gets added to the piece of text that says ‘this is a heading’ (or table, list, image, etc.).

Almost every style you need to use can be found in the NNELS template. Occasionally, you may need to create additional styles for things like Languages.

The purpose of the NNELS template is for consistency within the document itself and also across all the documents we create. By having a specific style template, users are also easily able to map our styles to their own template that they might want to use (they may prefer specific font type, spacing, sizing, indentation, etc.). For example, Normal Style has no indentation for this reason. We consulted with DAISY and other similar organizations in creating the template, and all the styles within fit into their recommendations, guidelines, and best practices for accessibility.

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.

If there are TAB characters used to provide indentation; if there are multiple Paragraph ‘Return’ characters (¶) used to provide spacing between paragraphs; if there are multiple SPACE characters used to align text, then the document is not properly formatted with styles.
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.

Working with Styles

Info Coming Soon

Headings

When you create a heading in a document, such as a title or a chapter heading, it is not enough to bold the text or increase the font size. A screenreader cannot “see” the bold letters. Always use the Headings Styles from the NNELS template.

General rules

  • As you apply headings to the document, ensure they appear in the navigation pane in the correct order and at the correct level (Heading 2 will be indented relative to Heading 1).
  • Nest headings without skipping. For example, if you have a book with two levels of headings, use Heading 1 and Heading 2, not Heading 1 and Heading 3, no matter how small or insignificant the second level of heading might appear. It’s very important to not skip heading levels as the document will not be processed into a DAISY book.
  • A heading should not have any line break in between. This will result in two headings of the same level without any text in between. This mark-up is invalid. For example, if the document has the following:

Chapter 1
Basics of Programming

If the same heading style is applied to both the lines above, there will be two headings of the same level since the section name is broken up into two paragraphs. Manually bring the heading name in one paragraph and then apply the heading style. The correct format will be as follows:

Chapter 1 Basics of Programming

If a heading doesn't appear in the correct hierarchy in the Navigation Pane, try clearing all formatting from the heading and reapplying the heading style.

Choosing headings

Refer to the table of contents of the book and familiarize yourself with the general layout of the book and the hierarchy of chapters, sections, sub-sections, etc. Determine how you would like to set up the different elements of the book using Heading levels 1-6.

DAISY books support heading levels only up to level 6. Most books will have headings only 3 to 4 levels deep. Many books, especially standard fiction works, will only use Heading 1 and no lower levels. This is typical of books that have chapters without sections or subsections.

  1. Heading 1: Top level sections include sections of front and rear matter, and usually chapters (unless they are arranged in sections or parts).
  2. Heading 2: Next level breakdown. If a book has 3 Parts each with Chapters, each Part receives a Heading 1 and each Chapter receives a Heading 2.
  3. Heading 3: Can be used for subsections.
  4. Heading 4-6: Rarely used.

Q & A

Q: In children's picture books, where there are no section or chapter headings, what heading is the text given?

A: Most often the text would fall under a heading called "Contents" or "Story".

public/nnels/etext/styles_headings.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/04 10:45 by rachel.osolen