Support:Style Guide

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Support » Style Guide

The style guide aims to make the Firefox support Knowledge Base consistent, resulting in a knowledge base, that is easy to read and contribute to. These are not rigid rules. If you feel you have good reason not to follow any of these guidelines, feel free not to follow them. Conversely, do not be surprised if your contributions are edited, to comply the style guide.

Preferred style guides

If you have questions about usage and style not covered here, I recommend referring to Read Me First! A Style Guide for the Computer Industry, or the Economist style guide. Failing that, use the Chicago Manual of Style.


In cases where you are not sure of proper terminology, or if an element has more than one name, use the term in the user-interface. For instance, in the customize toolbar screen, the term used for the location bar is "Location" bar, not "Address" bar, or "URL" bar. Other often used terms:

  • Plugins does not contain a hyphen (it is not plug-ins).
  • Add-ons contains a hyphen (it is not addons).
  • It's "web feeds", not "RSS feeds".
  • It's "search engines", not "search plug-ins".
  • Home page is two words, not one.
  • Web site is two words, not one.

Links to

Links to the main web site should not contain the locale.

Acronyms and abbreviations

When using a term, that may be presented as an acronym or abbreviation, use the method of presentation that is used in the user-interface; and do not separate the letters of an acronym by a period.

  • Good: SSL 3.0
  • Bad: S.S.L. 3.0
  • Bad: Secure Sockets Layer 3.0

Acronyms not found in the user-interface

In cases where an acronym is not in the user-interface, introduce its expansion in parenthesis on the first mention.

  • Good: RSS(Really Simple Syndication) links
  • Bad: RSS links

Abbreviations not found in the user-interface

In cases where an abbreviation is not in the user-interface, use the long version.

  • Good: information
  • Bad: info

Plurals of acronyms and abbreviations

For plurals of acronyms or abbreviations, add s, without the apostrophe.

  • Good: CD-ROMs
  • Bad: CD-ROM's


Capitalize the following items:

  • Proper nouns
  • The letters of many abbreviations and acronyms
  • The first letter of the first word in numbered or bulleted lists
  • The first letter of each term that identifies the name of a key on the keyboard
  • The first letter of the first word of a complete sentence
  • The first letter of the first word of a complete sentence following a colon
  • The first letter of the first word in a title or heading
    • Good: How to make Firefox your default browser
    • Bad: How To Make Firefox Your Default Browser


  • For dates use the format: January 1, 1990.
    • Good: December 31, 2007
    • Bad: December 31st, 2007
    • Bad: 31 December, 2007
  • Alternatively, you can use YYYY-MM-DD
    • Good: 2007-12-31
    • Bad: 31-12-2007
    • Bad: 12-31-2007


  • One newline after section titles, two before.
  • Two newlines between paragraphs
  • One newline after lists

General spelling, grammar, and punctuation

United States English spelling is preferred.

  • Good: color
  • Bad: colour

If you're unsure of spelling, refer to

Latin abbreviations

Common Latin abbreviations (etc., i.e., e.g.) may be used in parenthetical expressions and in notes. Use periods in these abbreviations.

  • Good: Search engines (e.g. Google) can be used ...
  • Bad: Search engines e.g. Google can be used ...
  • Bad: Search engines, e.g. Google, can be used ...
  • Bad: Search engines, (eg: Google) can be used ...


Use English-style plurals, not the Latin- or Greek-influenced forms.

  • Good: viruses
  • Bad virii

Serial commas

Use the serial comma. The serial (also known as "Oxford") comma is the comma that appears before "and" in a series of three or more items.

  • Good: Clear your cache, cookies, and history.
  • Bad: Clear your cache, cookies and history.

Common types of text

Preference names / values

Enclose preference name and values in the designated preference tags.

User scripts (user.js, userChrome.css, userContent.css)

Enclose user scripts in the designated code tags.
{img src=images/code.png}%%% {CODE()} text {CODE}

File names / paths

Enclose file names and file paths in the designated filename tags.

Keyboard shortcuts

Enclose keyboard shortcuts in the designated keyboard tags.

Menu paths

Enclose menu paths in the designated menu tags.


Links to any bug pages on Bugzilla should be treated as references. [We still need to figure out what we can do with this on tikiwiki.]