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Office of the Federal Register Blog

Reader Aids

Reader Aids help people use and understand the federal rulemaking process. Reader Aids information is not published in the Federal Register.

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).