A style guide, or style manual, is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization or field. The implementation of a style guide provides uniformity in style and formatting within a document and across multiple documents. A set of standards for a specific organization is often known as "house style". Style guides are common for general and specialized use, for the general reading and writing audience, and for students and scholars of various academic disciplines, medicine, journalism, the law, government, business, and industry.
Several basic style guides for technical and scientific communication have been defined by international standards organizations. These are often used as elements of and refined in more specialized style guides that are specific to a subject, region, or organization. Some examples are:
- EN 15038, Annex D – European Standard for Translation Services (withdrawn)
- ISO 8 – Presentation of periodicals
- ISO 18 – Contents lists of periodicals
- ISO 31 – Quantities & units
- ISO 214 – Abstracts for publication & documentation
- ISO 215 – Presentation of contributions to periodicals and other serials
- ISO 690 – Bibliographic references – Content, form & structure
- ISO 832 – Bibliographic references – Abbreviations of typical words
- ISO 999 – Index of a publication
- ISO 1086 – Title leaves of a book
- ISO 2145 – Numbering of divisions & subdivisions in written documents
- ISO 5966 – Presentation of scientific & technical reports (withdrawn)
- ISO 6357 – Spine titles on books & other publications
- ISO 7144 – Presentation of theses & similar documents
- ISO 9241 – Ergonomics of Human System Interaction
- ISO 17100 – Translation Services-Requirements for Translation Services
In the United States, both corporate and journalistic forms of mass communication rely on styles provided in the Associated Press Stylebook (AP). A classic grammar style guide, which is designed to complement the AP Stylebook, is The Elements of Style. Together, these two books are referenced more than any other general style book for U.S. third-person writing used across most professions.
For general writing
For legal documents
For academic papers
For electronic publishing
For the computer industry (software and hardware)
- Apple Style Guide, published online by Apple Inc. Provides editorial guidelines for text in Apple instructional publications, technical documentation, reference information, training programs, and the software user interface.
An earlier version was the Apple Publications Style Guide.
- DigitalOcean documentation style guide, published online by DigitalOcean.
- GNOME documentation style guide, published online by GNOME.
- Google Developer Documentation Style Guide, published online by Google. Provides a set of editorial guidelines for anyone writing developer documentation for Google-related projects.
- Mailchimp content style guide, published online by Mailchimp.
- Microsoft Writing Style Guide, published online by Microsoft Corporation. Provides a style standard for technical documentation including use of terminology, conventions, procedure, design treatments, and punctuation and grammar usage. Before 2018, Microsoft published a book, the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications.
- MongoDB documentation style guide, published by MongoDB.
- Mozilla Writing Style Guide, published online by Mozilla.
- Rackspace style guide for technical content, published online by Rackspace.
- Read Me First! A Style Guide for the Computer Industry, by Sun Technical Publications, 3rd ed., 2010.
- Red Hat style guide for technical documentation, published online by Red Hat.
- Salesforce style guide for documentation and user interface text, published online by Salesforce.
- SUSE documentation style guide, published online by SUSE.
- The IBM Style Guide: Conventions for Writers and Editors, 2011, and Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors, 2014, from IBM Press.
- The Splunk Style Guide, published online by Splunk. Provides a writing style reference for anyone writing or editing technical documentation.
- The Yahoo! Style Guide, 2010.
Editorial style guides on preparing a manuscript for publication