Skip to Main Content

Standards & Styles

Creating Rich Text

When you are working within standard or tabbed LibGuides boxes, one of primary content types will be Rich Text/HTML. By default, you will create, format, and edit your text within a WYSIWIG (What You See Is What You Get) rich text editor that will look familiar if you've worked with word processing software, webmail, and blogging platforms.

Use the toolbar within the rich text editor to format the placement, style, size, color, and emphasis of your text. You can also create simple in-text hyperlinks like the ones used throughout this guide. For formatting guidelines, please refer to the Best Practices section below.

For more advanced editors, if you need to troubleshoot or fine-tune your formatting or markup, click the Source button in the rich text editor's toolbar to work within the HTML view.

Best Practices for Text

The following best practices are based on user experience research and web accessibility standards.

Content Guidelines

Use these guidelines to focus on the user's experience when composing textual content.

  • Be concise. Ask yourself, would an image, video, or graphic communicate your idea more efficiently and effectively?
  • Avoid library jargon.
  • Provide brief examples of complex concepts.
  • Check for typos and other errors.
  • Keep lists of resources fairly short or divide them into smaller groups.


The LibGuides administrator has chosen default fonts and styles that are consistent with the rest of the Library web site. Therefore, using other fonts and colors in your text is discouraged. Furthermore, federal standards for web accessibility discourage the use of color as the sole means of conveying meaning.


Best practice for web design is to create links that open in a new browser window or tab. The library's guide templates (UD TEMPLATE - 1 COLUMN) do this automatically. However, editors who wish to have links open in the same browser window/tab can change the link target to "Same Window" (_self).


Use headings to organize your textual content and to make it more accessible to people who use screen readers. The system considers each page title a Heading 1, and each box title a Heading 2. Therefore, the highest level you will need to use is Heading 3 <h3>.

This is an H3 heading.

Here is some normal text below it. 

This is an H4 heading.

Here is some normal text below it.

Your LibGuides administrator has created a standard color, size, and style for Heading 3 and Heading 4, so you should not apply other formatting to these.


Some types of data are particularly useful when organized into rows and columns. The rich text editor includes a table builder option (), which makes it easy to create and manage tables in your guides. However, using HTML to create tables makes our guides less accessible to those using assistive technologies.

As an alternative, we recommend organizing your content using Google Sheets and then copying the embed code into a LibGuides widget Learn how to embed Google Sheets (and other documents) here.