Format punctuation in UI interactions

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Use the following rules regarding punctuation formatting in text describing interaction with the UI, periods, parentheses, and brackets.

  • If the punctuation is part of the element, such as punctuation that the customer must type, format the punctuation the same as the element.


Type Balance due: in cell A14. (In this example, the colon is italicized because the user types the colon.)

Navigate to Settings, then select Allow creation of contacts with duplicate SSNs. (The period is bolded because it is part of the UI element.)

  • If the punctuation isn’t part of the element, format the punctuation the same as the main text. This includes the > bracket when delineating a sequence of screens or menus.


On the Insert menu, go to Pictures, and then select From File. (In this example, the comma following Pictures and the period following File aren’t bold because the punctuation isn’t part of the UI labels.)

  • Format parentheses and brackets in the font style of the main text, not of the text in the parentheses or brackets.
    • ¬†Exceptions: For notes, tips, warnings, figure notations, and table notations, bold both the word/caption title and the colon that follows.

Additional information on punctuation.

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