Links for technical writers and others who create technical documentation and software documentation: style guides
On this page:
Microsoft Writing Style Guide
The most frequently used style guide for software documentation. Replaces the Microsoft Manual of Style and is now free of charge.
Simplified Technical English
Here you can request a free copy of the ASD-STE100 Specifcation. This document contains many good writing tips and rules that can be applied to any project.
Apple Publications Style Guide
Complete, downloadable style guide in PDF format (approx. 200 pages). To find the guide on the web site, enter “publications style guide” into the search box.
Jorsek Content Development Style Guide
Style guide from the manufacturer of the easyDITA content management system.
Salesforce Style Guide
Comprehensive style guide for documentation and user interface text. Can also be downloaded as a PDF (approx. 110 pages).
Google Developer Documentation Style Guide
Addresses some general topics, such as writing for a global audience, plus language, grammar, punctuation, and various writing conventions.
GNOME Documentation Style Guide
Writing style guide specifically for writing software documentation.
SUSE and openSUSE Style Guides
Style guides for documentation and texts within the user interface.
Drupal Handbook Style Guide
Brief guide with some basic tips.
Wikipedia Manual of Style
Brief style guide for writing wiki entries.
IEEE Computer Society Style Guide
Comprehensive style guide, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Computer Society.
National Geographic Style Manual
Detailed guide to the preferred National Geographic Society style.
Web Style Guide
Comprehensive style guide and textbook on online information design in general.
Writing Styleguide and Dictionary of Plain English
List of frequently abused and overblown words and their plain English equivalents (PDF, 19 pages). Go to the “Publications” section.
The Elements of Style
Well-known, brief, classic reference.
OWL Online Writing Lab
Collection of handouts and exercises on general writing concerns, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and professional writing.
Plain English Campaign
Collection of free guides in PDF format.
Plain Language Action and Information Network
Collection of resources that are aimed to help you write more clearly and more concisely.
Sharpening Your Writing Skills
Gives away two free booklets in PDF format: “Writing Styleguide and Dictionary of Plain English” and “Sharpening Your Writing Skills—A Workshop for Business and Technical Writers.” For the download, go to the “Publications” section.
Brief reference of proofreader’s marks.
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This page was last updated 02/2019