Text readability is a measure of how well and how easily a text conveys its intended meaning to a reader of that text.
A number of factors influence the readability of a text. These include:
- Physical factors such as typeface, font size, spacing and layout;
- Reader factors such as prior knowledge, reading ability, and motivation of the reader;
- Vocabulary difficulty;
- Text structure;
- Text coherence and cohesion;
A number of indices have been proposed for measuring readability and some are still used and are included in word processing programs. These include Flesch, Dale and Chall, Fry, Bormuth, Coleman & Liau. For more information on these see Readability Indices.
A new method of estimating readability
A new method of estimating readability not based on word or sentence length is now available. This method correlates highly with graded texts, and gives a visual indication of text readability.