Example domains and names

You may occasionally need to provide imaginary (fictitious) examples of such things as domain names, email addresses, people's names, or phone numbers.

In many cases, it's better to use placeholder variables, like user-id or email-address, but in some cases you may want specific examples.

Example domain names

When you need a generic domain name in an example, use example.com, example.org, or example.net.

Example email addresses

When you need a generic email address in an example, use a Gmail address that has a username less than six letters long. Gmail doesn't allow usernames that short, so this approach ensures that you're not accidentally giving a real username. For example, you can use liz@gmail.com or darcy@gmail.com.

If you need a generic non-Gmail address, then use one of the domains listed in "Example domain names."

Example person names and activities

When you need examples of people's names and activities to use in documentation, one approach is to use the names of fictional characters from out-of-copyright books. If you do this, use very famous characters to reduce translation difficulties.

Don't use the names of fictional characters from material that's in copyright. (This includes virtually all movies and TV shows.) Don't use real people, including yourself, your family, or your friends.

If you can't think of a famous fictional character that's out of copyright, you can make up names. However, if you do this, take care to include use names that reflect the diversity of the real world.

One exception is if you're writing conceptual documentation about security. In that case, it's conventional to use the names Alice, Bob, Eve, and so on. For more information, see Alice and Bob in Wikipedia.

Example company names

When you need a company name in an example, use ExampleOrganization. If you need to differentiate between two different fictional companies, you can add a description to the company names. For example, you can use EnterpriseExampleOrganization and StartupExampleOrganization.

Example phone numbers

When you want to show an example phone number, use a US number in the range (800) 555-0100 through (800) 555-0199. That range is reserved for use in examples and in fiction.

Never use a real phone number in examples.

Example IP addresses

When you need an IP address in an example, such as in a log, use one of the RFC 5737 addresses provided for documentation purposes. These addresses are not used on the Internet. The available addresses include the following:

  • 192.0.2.1
  • 198.51.100.1
  • 203.0.113.1

For address ranges, use the following examples:

  • 192.0.2.0/24
  • 198.51.100.0/24
  • 203.0.113.0/24

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Google Developer Documentation Style Guide
Google Developer Documentation Style Guide