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Improved Display of Proposed Rule Amendments

A few months ago we made some changes to the way we display Federal Register documents in HTML on In particular, we wanted to improve the display of regulatory text by adding a variety of icons, shading, and spacing to make complex documents easier to comprehend. Visual cues and improved navigation tools help readers understand the structure of Federal Register documents and potential changes to the CFR.

Our first round of visual enhancements to regulatory text was limited to amendments in Rule documents.  Since then, we worked with GPO to add tagging to Proposed Rules, so that proposed changes to the CFR would be more prominently displayed. In the example linked below, you can see that the numbered amendments are highlighted with icons, instructions appear in bold text, and the regulatory text is shaded to make it stand out.

Example: National Instant Criminal Background Check System (DOJ NPRM, January 28, 2013).




9 Responses to Improved Display of Proposed Rule Amendments

  1. I have a suggestion for, the site for public comment. That site is down for scheduled maintenance today. Unfortunately, since it is down for maintenance, nobody can see the notice that it is down for scheduled maintenance—- all they get is an error message. That site needs to have a webpage hosted on another site which explains outages. That’s true for too, though maybe you have this arrangement already. It’s a routine arrangement for private sector websites, so it shouldn’t be hard to do.

  2. Why can’t you strikethrough language proposed for deletion and underline proposed additions? Seems like that would be a vastly easier way to deal with this.

  3. The composition system used by the Government Printing Office to create the official edition of the Federal Register does not currently support strike-throughs. We may take a look at this issue when a new system is implemented.

  4. I find that both sites are hard to find a special thing your looking for when the only thing it will bring up is 5 or more years old. for instance a proposed rule or exemption I was looking for on the cdl licences for my husband’s hearing exemption I can find the notice announcing wanting comments but I can never find any updates for that as to what has been finalized or passed on rule making that I believe is the problem with site and this one.they are not grouped correctly. takes me hours to find out anything and at times I find nothing. it’s suppose to be on the final leg of journey but you can’t find it.

  5. Why can’t you use different type set or different color to indicate final regs verses proposed. It would make using the Register a lot easier for information hunting.

  6. The best way to find subsequent rulemakings is by searching for the RIN (regulatory information number) or the docket number. Please submit your query to As long as what you are looking for has published in the Federal Register, we will try to find it.

  7. It’s a good thought that changes and additions are being made to the text as certain things need to be highlighted and said in bold and would carry more meaning to it. This little improvement would definitely not go wasted.

  8. I pay a quick visit daily a few web pages and sites
    to read content, but this weblog gives quality based content.

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