This style guide can be a little intimidating; it covers a lot of material. This page is a brief list of some of the most important points and some of the most common issues.
The style guide is mostly intended for reference; we don't expect you to read it straight through. The left nav is extensive, but that's to aid in making things findable; if you do a search-in-page, you may be able to find your topic in the left nav.
This page doesn't provide details or justifications; for more info about topics on this page, follow the links.
Tone and content
Language and grammar
- Use second person: "you" rather than "we."
- Use active voice; make clear who's performing the action.
- Use standard American spelling and punctuation.
- Put conditional clauses before instructions, not after.
- For usage and spelling of specific words, see the word list.
Formatting, punctuation, and organization
- Use sentence case for document titles and section headings.
- Use numbered lists for sequences.
- Use bulleted lists for most other lists.
- Use description lists for pairs of related pieces of data.
- Use serial commas.
- Put code-related text in code font.
- Put UI elements in bold.
- Use unambiguous date formatting.