Copy reviews

A checklist for reviewing written content

Use this list to review the copy on Canonical and Ubuntu sites and web apps.

You can find more detailed information on the Canonical copy style guide, including lists of product names and commonly used words.

If something is ambiguous, ill-defined or absent from the style guide, please submit an issue for an amendment or addition to the guide.

Checklist

  • Has the entire document been spellchecked?
  • Have you read all the content on the page/screen? Is there anything that doesn’t make sense, or that you had to read more than once to understand the meaning? It probably means it should be reworded: ask for help or make your own suggestion
  • Do all links work?
  • Does the document follow British spelling and grammar?
    • Correct: colour, virtualisation, centre
    • Incorrect: color, virtualization, center
  • Are all titles written in sentence case?
    • Correct: Multiple devices, one experience
    • Incorrect: Multiple Devices, One Experience
    • Tip: when in doubt, double-check whether nouns are product names (which should be capitalised) or not (most times they’re not)
  • Are Ubuntu releases mentioned by their full name?
  • Correct: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • Incorrect: Ubuntu 16.04; 16.04; 16.04 LTS
  • Are brands and company names correctly written? (Always double-check using official sources)
    • Correct: GitHub, JavaScript, WordPress, PayPal
    • Incorrect: Github, Javascript, Wordpress, Paypal
  • Are there any ampersands in the document?
    • Unless part of an official brand or product name, replace ampersands for the word “and”
  • Do headings have a full stop? (They shouldn’t)
  • Do features lists have full stops? (They shouldn’t)
  • Do enumerations use the serial comma? (They shouldn’t)
    • Correct: We design, build and run your private cloud.
    • Incorrect: We design, build, and run your private cloud.
  • Do call to action links (as opposed links inline with text) or buttons start with a verb?
    • Correct: Read the Netflix case study
    • Incorrect: Netflix case study
  • Are dates formatted correctly?
    • Correct: 1 January 2017; 1-2 January 2017; 1 January - 2 February 2017
    • Incorrect: any other format, including ordinal indicators (st, nd, th) and shortened month names
  • Do currency symbols precede the amount?
    • Correct: €13
    • Incorrect: 13€
  • Are USD indicated by the currency symbol only?
    • Correct: $2,500
    • Incorrect: USD $2,5000; USD 2,500
  • Do numbers over 3 digits have a comma?
    • Correct: 1,000 machines
    • Incorrect: 1000 machines
  • Is there a space between values and units? (There shouldn’t be)
    • Correct: 3GB; 124g
    • Incorrect: 3 GB; 124 g
  • Does the document use any exclamation marks? Are they needed or can they be removed? (Do it)
  • Does the document include any directional words? (It shouldn’t)
    • Incorrect: Check out the list below/above/to the left/right