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Learning Centre

Readability Statistics

Use the readability statistics in Microsoft Word to monitor your writing level as you work through your drafts.

Turn on readability statistics

To turn on readability statistics in Microsoft Word:

  1. Click “File”
  2. Click “Options”
  3. Click “Proofing” in the “Word Options” window
  4. Under “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word,” check on “Show readability statistics.”

Now, you can view the readability of a page by running your “Spelling & Grammar” checker.

Reading grade level

You want to aim for a reading grade level of 6 or less when writing web content to ensure that it's easy to read and accessible to a wide audience. You shouldn't go past a grade level of 12 even with the most technical content. A reading grade level of 3 to 6 is ideal.

When checking your readability statistics, you should aim for a maximum of:

  • 4 to 6 characters/letters per word on average
  • 10 words per sentence
  • 5 sentences per paragraph
  • 300 words per page

Bulleted lists

One of the easiest ways to bring down your reading grade level is to divide longer sentences and large paragraphs of text into bulleted lists. These are a great way to show key points or next steps that a visitor has to take.

The passive voice

Ensuring that you also have little to no sentences (0%) in the passive voice will help your readability.