Be judicious and consistent in your use of capitalization. Use capitalization for proper names and proper adjectives and when it's stylistically required. Don't use it for common nouns, for emphasis, to attempt to give a word greater status than other words, or randomly.
This topic provides general guidelines to help you decide whether a term should be capitalized. For the correct capitalization of some common terms, see Alphabetical list of terms.
For capitalization guidelines for items other than terms, see the table at the end of this topic.
- Capitalize proper nouns and adjectives
- Capitalize most abbreviations
- Capitalization in job titles
- Capitalize team names
- Capitalize UI labels as shown on the UI
- Capitalize the names of product components as appropriate
- Don't capitalize common nouns
- Don't use all capitals for emphasis
Capitalize proper nouns and adjectives#
Proper nouns and adjectives include the names of people, places, companies, organizations, products, languages, protocols, and some technologies, as well as trademarks.
Be aware that some of these names might have nonstandard or no capitalization. Always follow the capitalization that's used by the company, shown in a dictionary, or accepted as standard in the industry.
|Rackspace||Service Advertising Protocol|
For the correct capitalization of Rackspace product names, see the Rackspace Cloud corporate website.
For the correct capitalization of some commonly used third-party names, see Third-party names and trademarks.
Capitalize most abbreviations#
Most abbreviated forms of terms use all capitals, although exceptions exist. Also, be aware that the corresponding spelled-out terms of abbreviations are often not capitalized. When in doubt about the capitalization of an abbreviation or its spelled-out term, consult a dictionary, industry style guide, reputable website, or editor. Following are some examples.
|API||application programming interface|
|Kbps||kilobits per second|
|REST||Representational State Transfer|
|SaaS||software as a service|
|WSDL||Web Services Description Language|
For more information, see Abbreviations.
Capitalization in job titles#
Within Rackspace technical documentation, use the following rules for capitalization in job titles:
|If you’re referring to a job role in general, don’t use initial capitals.||All support technicians will be allocated an account manager and a career coach.|
|Don’t use initial capitals where the title is being used as a description.||
|Use initial capitals where the term is serving as an actual title with the name of a person – just as you would on a business card or email signature.||
Capitalize team names#
When you use team names in technical documents, use initial capitals as shown in the following table:
|Examples of initial capitals in team names|
|The Support team handles making the change for you.|
|Contact your Account Management team can tell you what the charge will be.|
|The Information Development team is amazing!|
|Contact Information Development <add email link> for instructions.|
Capitalize UI labels as shown on the UI#
When you're documenting part of the interface within a procedure or other type of article or topic, match the capitalization used on the interface.
However, when you use terms from the interface as common nouns, don't capitalize the terms.
|Click the action cog to the left of the check name and select Rename Check.|
|From the Cloud Control Panel, you can rename a check.|
Capitalize the names of product components as appropriate#
Follow the capitalization of major component names that's established by Marketing, Legal, and the product teams. However, be wary of overcapitalization of product terms. Not every feature or object in a product is a proper noun. For example, the Cloud Servers service enables users to create a server, not a Server. When the user creates a server, the user specifies an image, flavor, and network, not an Image, Flavor, and Network. A Performance server has a data disk and a system disk, not a Data disk and a System disk. A user uses Cloud Load Balancer to create a load balancer, not a Load Balancer.
Many terms that might be capitalized on the interface aren't capitalized when used as common nouns. When in doubt, consult an existing style sheet, an editor, or the product team (but be aware that product teams sometimes tend to overcapitalize terms). Following are some tips to help you determine whether a noun should be capitalized:
- Generally, if you can have more than one of something, it's a common noun and therefore not capitalized.
- When a common noun follows the name of a product or component, generally that noun isn't capitalized.
- When you refer generally to a component, you can use lowercase (as in the utility or the agent).
|Cloud Control Panel|
|Zipit Backup Utility|
|Rate Limiting component|
Don't capitalize common nouns#
Most of the time, we have no trouble determining whether a noun is proper or common. However, we have a tendency to capitalize product-specific terms even when they're really just being used as common nouns. A common noun denotes a whole class of something (for example, servers) or a random member of a class (for example, a server). As a general rule, if you can have more than one of something, it's a common noun and therefore not capitalized.
|You can submit up to 10 messages in a single request, but you must encapsulate them in a collection container (an array in JSON).||You can submit up to 10 Messages in a single Request, but you must encapsulate them in a Collection Container (an Array in JSON).|
|Repose authentication provides caching for user tokens, roles, and groups.||Repose Authentication provides caching for User Tokens, Roles, and Groups.|
Don't use all capitals for emphasis#
To emphasize a term, show it in italics. To emphasize an important piece of information, consider setting it apart structurally, perhaps as a note.
Reference to other capitalization guidelines#
The following table provides links to other capitalization guidelines in the style guide:
|Code examples||Code examples|
|Diagram labels||Diagram guidelines|
|Glossary terms and definitions||Glossaries|
|Key combinations||Keyboard keys|
|List items||List items|
|Placeholder (variable) text||Placeholder (variable) text|
|Table column headers and text||Tables|
|Text following colons||Colons|
|Text following em dashes||Dashes|
|Titles and headings||Titles and headings|