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Web Style Guide

Refer to the Marketing and Communications Web Communications Guide for information regarding tone, grammar, use of active voice and action words, and more. In addition:

Proper Use of Formatting and Punctuation

Use Formatting, Not Punctuation

  • Never use spacing to format any alignment issues or special characters (e.g. *, !, -, +, #, ^) to lay out content.
    • Do use tables for tabular data.
    • Do use lists (ordered/numeric or unordered/bulleted) for simple lists of ideas.
  • Never use special characters (e.g. *, !, -, +, #, ^) to emphasize the importance of something.
    • Do use styles like instructions, information, caution, or warning.
    • Do use heading levels where appropriate (introducing a subject/topic).
    • Do use bold (the strong HTML tag) or italics (the em HTML tag) on important phrases.

Spacing

  • Never use spacing to format any alignment issues or special characters (e.g. *, !, -, +, #, ^) to lay out content.
    • Do use tables for tabular data.
    • Do use lists (ordered/numeric or unordered/bulleted) for simple lists of ideas.
  • Use only one (1) space at the end of a sentence before starting a new sentence.

Special Characters

  • Special characters, like asterisks (*), are typically used to denote footnotes on a page, but Web Services would prefer to use numerical superscripts1. No matter what you use, for accessibility, you need to link the superscript to the footnote in question. The footnote can have an id="footnote1" and the link would be set only on the anchor in the dialog box to "footnote1". Since the id attribute is not typically editable, please send these requests to Web Services.
  • Never use special characters (e.g. *, !, -, +, #, ^) to emphasize the importance of something.
    • Do use styles like instructions, information, caution, or warning.
    • Do use heading levels where appropriate (introducing a subject/topic).
    • Do use bold (the strong HTML tag) or italics (the em HTML tag) on important phrases.

Colons, Semicolons, and Hyphens

Paragraphs

  • A paragraph should be a complete thought. It should not start with ellipses (…), essentially an incomplete sentence. A heading should not be a lead into the paragraph to complete a thought.
  • Never bold (the strong HTML tag) or italicize (the em HTML tag) an entire paragraph. If a paragraph was bolded or italicized previously (in a document before adding to a website), consider whether it should be a heading or if it needs a style such as instructions, information, caution, or warning.

Tables

  • 1This would be an example of superscript footnote.