You have created your Facebook ad campaign. You found the perfect ad. Now is the time to run that ad campaign and watch the clicks come in, right?

To continue. There is still one more important step to be taken.

You need to publish your ad through the Facebook Grid Tool (aka Facebook Text Overlay Too or Facebook text checker – more below) or your target audience may never see it.

What is the Facebook Grid tool?

In a nutshell: The Facebook Ad Grid Tool helps you create an ad that will reach more users by measuring how much text is in your ad image.

Ads with very little text are prioritized by the Facebook algorithm and therefore have a high reach. Ads with too much text will be penalized and have little or no reach.

What is the story?

Until recently, Facebook advertisers could only cover their ad images with a maximum of 20 percent text. This was because Facebook found that ads with less than 20 percent text coverage performed better (i.e. got more engagement).

Examples of ads that violate the 20 percent text rule. Source: Facebook

The way the ads were “tested” involved loading the ad images into a rectangular grid of 25 (hence the name “Facebook Grid Tool”). If more than 20 percent of the rectangles have text, Facebook will reject your ad.

Users tended to find the system annoying and arbitrary, as it’s about how much text is just as much about where your text is placed. The tool has since been replaced by a new system: Facebook Text Overlay Tool.

How to Use the Facebook Grid Tool

Using the new Facebook Text Overlay Tool is simple. A little more difficult is understanding what the results mean for your ad campaign.

facebook grid tool

Step 1. Load

Visit the Facebook Text Overlay page and upload your ad image.

facebook grid tool

Step 2. Get Rating

The tool gives your image one of four ratings: OK, Low, Medium, or High.

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While the 20 percent rule is no longer technically valid, these ratings still depend on the ratio between the text and images in your ad.

If your ad contains a little too much text, it will be penalized and reach fewer people. If it contains too much text, it may not be published at all or reach very few people.

That’s why you want to ask yourself when creating your ad: How much text is too much? And what counts as text? More on that below.

How can you make sure Facebook approves your ads?

The easiest way to get your ads approved is to add as little text to your image as possible. These are the images that will get the “OK” message in the Facebook Image Overlay Tool.

Facebook provides examples of what types of images apply to each category and how it will affect your ad’s reach.

facebook grid toolfacebook grid tool

The second thing to keep in mind is what counts as “text” in an image. Yes, words, but also:

  • numbers
  • Text based logos
  • watermarks

Likewise, there are some types of text that do not count as “text” according to Facebook’s guidelines. Exceptions to this rule include:

  • book/album covers
  • Games
  • Product:%s
  • event posters
  • legal text
facebook grid tool
No problem with this ad as the text is on a book cover

Remember: Facebook’s goal is to keep news feed content as uniform as possible so that your friends’ content blends seamlessly with brands’ ads. A catchy headline is nice, but when it comes to increasing your business reach (and improving your Facebook ad conversions), the less text you have in your images, the better.

Use the Facebook Grid Tool to streamline your ad creation and ensure your ad is seen by your audience.

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