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Technical Writing Standards

  • Use bold type when referring to names of menus, menu options, dialog boxes, buttons, and other named items in the user interface.
Example: Click on the File pull-down menu, and select Save.
  • Use italics to indicate a placeholder for information that a user should supply, as well as for book titles.
  • File name extensions should be in all lowercase.
  • Acronyms, abbreviations, and key names (e.g., ALT, CTRL) should be in all uppercase.
  • Use monospace type to represent code samples, examples of screen text, or text that you would type at a command prompt.
  • Use CAPITAL LETTERS to indicate the names of keys and key sequences and to indicate HTML element names.
Example: Press ENTER to create a new line.
  • Use a plus sign (+) to indicate that you must press those keys at the same time. Use a comma (,) to indicate that the keys must be pressed one after another.
Example: Press CTRL+S to save the document.
  • Internet, Web, and email addresses should be written in lowercase, unless the address is case sensitive. In printed media, these types of addresses should be in italics and NOT underlined.
  • Internet, World Wide Web, and their shortened forms are treated as proper nouns and capitalized in all instances.
Example: the Web, the Net, WWW