Printable Text Format Guide

Time

8:45 am – 11:00 pm

  • Always include minutes, even if the time is an even hour.
  • Do not use periods after “am” and “pm”.
  • For time durations, include a space on either side of the dash, which should be an en-dash (–).
  • Include a space after the minutes and before am/pm.

Date

01/23

01/23/2017

  • Format: MM/DD, MM/DD/YYYY
  • Dates in this format should not be italicized, except to integrate with the surrounding text.
  • Dates in this format should have leading zeros on the month and day.
  • If included, the year should be four digits.

Nov. 23, 2016

Monday, Nov. 23, 2016

Nov. 23, 2016 – Oct. 2, 2016

  • Abbreviate month, with a period after the abbreviation.
  • Include weekday when doing so will enhance the reader’s comprehension. Do not abbreviate the weekday.
  • Date in this format should not have leading zeros on the day.
  • The year should be four digits.
  • When a date duration, include a space on either side of the dash, which should be an en-dash (–).

Monday – Friday

  • Do not abbreviate the weekday.
  • Include a space on either side of the dash, which should be an en-dash.

Address

30 W. Mifflin St., Suite 900
Madison, WI 53703

  • Abbreviate cardinal directions (North, South, East & West) with a period.
  • Abbreviate street type (Street, Avenue, etc.) with a period.
  • Place a comma between the street address and room information. Room information is optional.
  • Include “Madison, WI” and the ZIP code when appropriate.

Phone Number

(608) 266-4454

  • Always include the area code. Exception: Phone numbers for only internal City staff may exclude area code.
  • Area code is in parentheses.
  • Include a non-breaking space between the area code and the beginning of the 7-digit number.
  • Include a non-breaking hyphen between the first three digits and the last four digits of the 7-digit number.

Prices

$2.00

$250

  • Always format lists and sets of prices the same.
  • If any price in a list/set includes cents (.00), then all items must.
  • Prices under $10 should always include cents.
  • Integer prices (prices with no cents after the decimal point) between $10 and $99 may exclude cents. Default behavior excludes cents.
  • Integer prices (prices with no cents after the decimal point) $100 and over must exclude cents.

Links

  • Link text is very important for accessibility and for search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Use link text that describes what the reader will get if they click the link.
  • Do not use “click here” or “view more” for link text.

“And” vs. “&”

“and”

  • “And” should always be used in long lists of items, if those items are in a paragraph and have not been separated into bulleted or numbered lists. (see Lists below)
  • Body text should generally use “and”.
  • “And” is used for more formal language.

“&”

  • The ampersand is used for key navigation, and represents an expression of identity and purpose of the City of Madison or of a City Agency. Ampersands should be used when linking two related objects of equal weight and importance.
  • “&” is used for friendly, service-based language.

Lists

Numbered Lists

  • 3+ items that occur in a sequence
  • Items where some carry more importance than others
  • Note: Use Styled List Steps (web) for simple instructions (3-6 items) that stand alone on a webpage.

Bulleted Lists

  • Items with roughly the same value, which do not belong in a sequence (i.e. where order does not matter).
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