Initial Review of Readability:

Let's do it...

Sometimes, a good strategy when you are creating reading materials (e.g., a digital story for your class, an exam, a rubric) or wanting to assess the reading level of a specific document (something you found online, perhaps), is to check the readability. There are a few ways to do this. One way is utilizing the readability function in MS Word. Let's try this together using some of the text from the digital story you have been working on. Open up Word and turn on the readability, following these steps:

  • First, make sure that the readability tool is added to your toolbars (we will to do this together). Note that these directions are available here and in various HELP venues on Microsoft/within Word.
  • Then, to turn on the readability function in Word (Windows):
    1. Open Word.
    2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, then click Word Options.
    3. Click Proofing.
    4. Place a check beside the Show Readability Statistics option.
    5. Click OK.
    6. Now when you spell check, the Readability Statistics will appear in a pop-up box after you run the spell check.
  • You may wish to add the autosummarize tool on earlier versions of Word. To add the Autosummarize tool, do the same thing as above, but instead add the Autosummarize tool. After you do this, it should automatically show up in the upper left hand corner next to the save, undo and redo buttons. Then you can autosummarize your document to lower the readability.
  • Now copy and paste the text you want to check for readability. Then run Spell/Grammar check, as usual. At the end of the Spell/Grammar check, a readability statistics box should pop up. Voila! You just checked the readability of a Word doc. Now, that was easy!

Readability Resources Within Word and OTHER Places...

Readability Resources for MS Word and Google Docs:

Here are some online tools you may also want to look at for readability:



Readability page has been adapted from http://528sum10.wetpaint.com/page/Readability+Basics (Gradel/Sobczak, 2010)