Text Guidelines

Always check headings, emphasis, extra spaces, punctuation, acronyms, abbreviations and foreign language terms


  • Use proper heading tags to highlight headings.
  • Headers must be hierarchical. For example, 'H2' subheadings must only appear within an 'H1' main heading; and 'H3' sub-subheadings must only appear within an 'H2' subheading.


  • Never use underline to emphasise words online. Underlining generally indicates the underlined word or phrase is an active hypertext link.
  • Never use capitals to emphasise words online. Block capitals are generally regarded as shouting, and are considered rude.
  • Use bold type to emphasise a word or a few words.
  • To emphasise a statement, use blockquote, or even blockquote and bold type.

Extra spaces

  • Delete unneeded spaces and carriage returns.
  • Check you have not inserted any carriage returns within a paragraph. (This is a common mistake, especially when copying and pasting text from a Word document.)

Screenshot showing examples of how text displays on different screen sizes

Tip: try resizing your application screen size:

  • Does the text 'wrap around' correctly to fit into different screen sizes?
  • Or does the text keep the same line endings and look wrong on some screen sizes (as illustrated in the example above)?


Use correct punctuation:

  • Remember to use consistent punctuation throughout the entire organisation.

Acronyms and abbreviations

Specify the expansion of each abbreviation or acronym in a document where it first occurs.

  • For example, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Foreign language terms

You must clearly identify changes in the natural language of a document's text.

It is probably best to avoid using any non-English phrases. Including them is not straightforward. If you wish to use a foreign phrase, learn how to insert foreign language content.