- The University’s web content management system (WCMS) automatically uses Heading 1 as the title of a web page. (The words “Online Formatting” on this page are Heading 1.)
- If you need to separate your online text with subtitles, use either Heading 2 or Heading 3 type styles.
- All headlines should be written in Title Case format.
- Apply Heading 2 to the subtitles on your web page.
- Do not add periods or colons to the end of your subtitles.
- Apply Heading 3 to subsections of online content under a subtitle.
- Heading 3 can also be used as a subtitle online if there are many instances of separated text on a page (like this page for example.) The smaller headline is easier for the eye to skim across and find information in a long list.
Centered Headlines or Text
- Centered text is very hard to read online. To help with website usability and comprehension, use only flush-left formatting for headlines and paragraphs.
- The paragraph font is the default type style applied to all text in the WCMS as it is entered into the system.
- It is very difficult to read large blocks of bolded text online.
- If you wish to emphasize a phrase, you can bold the words online. However, the more words you bold, the less effective it is as a method to highlight important text. (See point 6 in Dreamweaver’s online writing tutorial and page 172 of the book “Content Critical” by Gerry McGovern and Rob Norton.)
- Avoid using italics online. The computer screen cannot accurately display italic text, making it difficult to understand. (Read page 171 in the book “Content Critical” for a more detailed explanation.)
- Unless the word or phrase is a hyperlink, never underline text online.
- UPPER CASE text conveys the sense of urgency, warning or shouting online.
- Use upper case sparingly; usually to indicate a warning or caution in a step or procedure. (Example: Do NOT touch the dial after the machine starts.)
Pictures and Graphics
- To ensure pictures and graphics have enough white space around the image, place the image in a table.
- In the pop-up table menu, you will need to select a "Class" to apply to your photo or graphic. If you want the picture to be on the right of the page, choose imgTableRight. If you want the pciture to be on the left of the page, choose imageTableLeft.
- If you wish to include a caption underneath the picture, click on the box beside "Caption" in the pop-up table menu.
- Use only to indicate the root of something (e.g., square metres or m2)
- Do not use to in dates (see Dates and Times).
- Only use for chemical formulas (e.g., H2O)
Solid Bullets and Discs
- The University’s WCMS automatically creates solid bullets for first level bulleted text.
- The WCMS automatically changes the bullets to discs when a second-level bulleted text is chosen. (Bullet style + Indent)
- Use number lists to indicate steps or actions that must be sequentially completed.
- The WCMS automatically changes the numbers to letters when a second-level numbered text is chosen (Number style + Indent)
Double Space After Final Punctuation
- Online text requires only one space after the period or final punctuation at the end of a sentence.
Note: Double spacing – which was needed with typewriters – is not required for word processing.