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Adobe editorial guidelines

Editorial guidelines


Everyone is edited

You will be edited. Everyone is eventually edited. Don't be surprised or offended.

Duplicate entries

Before creating an entry, conduct a thorough search to ensure that you are not creating a duplicate entry. If you find a similar post or article, consider refining or improving the content before creating a separate post.

Article length

Although there is no set length for articles, please be concise and consider overall readability as you organize and create your content. On the web, readers may tire of especially long pages, so try not to exceed 3,000 words. If an article is significantly longer, consider submitting it as a proposal to the Adobe Developer Center instead.

Strive for simplicity

Because reading onscreen is more difficult than reading on paper, keep text short, simple, and easy to scan. Large blocks of text are uninviting, and they bury important information. Break your copy into small, digestible chunks so users can easily scan them. Organize content in the simplest way possible with minimal levels of hierarchy and a minimal number of structural and design elements. Use straightforward heads and subheads whenever possible. Write short, concise sentences. Avoid extraneous words, phrases, and parenthetical statements that aren’t essential to your point. Don't overuse contextual links.

Think globally

Because Adobe.com is localized into 19 languages, remember to think globally when creating or updating content:

  • Don’t mention U.S.-specific holidays, customs, sports, or politics in web content. Avoid slang, jargon, and clichés that have no meaning (or different meanings) in other languages.
  • Spell out uncommon acronyms for the benefit of non-native English readers and translators.
  • Use consistent terminology.

Tone

The use of first person (“I”) and second person (“you”) pronouns is acceptable, but keep the overall tone as professional and concise as possible. Irrelevant or personal anecdotes will be removed for the sake of clarity and length.

Article titles

Be direct, clear, and concise in composing your title. Avoid jargon or arcane technical terms. Remember, people are here for help—the vast majority are not as technically proficient or sophisticated as you are.

Here are some tips for good headline style:

  • Keep titles short and simple. Avoid redundancy or unnecessary words; for example, avoid using too many articles ("a," "an," "the") and pronouns.
  • Use sentence case. Capitalize only the first letter of the first word and of any proper nouns in a heading. For example, use "Editorial guidelines" instead of "Editorial Guidelines."
  • Avoid special characters such as ampersand (&), plus sign (+), curly brackets ({}), and square brackets ([]). In place of the ampersand, use the word "and" unless the ampersand is part of a formal name.

Spell check

Check your spelling early and often. The Google Toolbar (available as a free download) has a useful spell-check feature for web-based form fields.

Punctuation

Serial commas

In a list of three or more items, place a comma immediately before the conjunction. (Example: "x, y, and z.") Omitting the comma can lead to an ambiguous sentence.

Ellipses

Use three periods to indicate ellipses; there is no approved high-ASCII code for them.

Quotation marks, apostrophes

Use straight (not curly) quotation marks and apostrophes. See "Italics" for guidance on when to use quotation marks in titles.

Special formatting

Fractions

Because fractions are not on the approved list of high-ASCII characters, try to use decimals or words instead. Examples: 2.5 inches; one-third of users.

Italics

Avoid italics in HTML text for the sake of legibility. Italics may occasionally be used in GIF text. Use quotation marks for the titles of books, movies, TV shows, magazine articles, CD titles, and so on. Also use quotation marks for words as words. (Example: Double-click the word "Adobe.")

Bulleted items

  • When using complete sentences, always use punctuation and a period at the end.
  • Incomplete sentences don't need terminal punctuation.
  • Do not mix sentence styles; use all complete sentences, or use all sentence fragments.
  • Each entry begins with a capital letter, even if it is a sentence fragment.

Resources

For more help on writing and editing in English, consult the following resources: