Accessible Email

General Accessible Email Formatting Guidelines

These standards apply to all email applications. Not all email clients will have all these options available; just use the options that are available to you.

Note: Most people read their email on a mobile phone. These accessibility guidelines not only help people with disabilities understand your email, but also help sighted users view your email on a small screen.

Email Format

  • Emails that are in HTML or Rich Text formatting are the most accessible.
  • Plain text emails are less accessible.

Text size

  • 14 px or 12 pt is considered the most accessible body text size.
  • Headings should be slightly larger than your body text.

Text color


  • Divide your email into small readable content chunks to make your email easier to understand. Start each content chunk with a heading that summarizes the topic.
  • Format your headings with Heading Styles 1 through 6.


  • Don’t include URL’s in the body text. Instead, use text links.
  • If you need to include a full URL as a citation or research documentation, create a section in your email, sort of like a footnote, and give it a heading (e.g. Citation URL’s). Place all the citations in a bulleted list. Include the page title along with the URL.

Text formatting

  • Limit your use of Bold, italics, all-caps, etc. Too much will make your text difficult to read.
  • Don’t use full or right justification, these don’t always align properly in some email clients and may hide your content off screen on mobile devices.
  • Don’t use tables to layout an email, only use tables for tabular data.


  • Don’t use images instead of text.
  • Give each image alt text.

Software Specific


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