Many of these are now widely regarded as good practice, and aren't really specific to us, and some - like those concerning headings - apply to working in other media too (e.g. Word, or other work that will be printed). We will add to this page from time-to-time, so please visit again.


On this page:


Headings

Don't type news headlines or events titles in CAPS. IT'S LIKE SHOUTING.

Use proper styles for headings, rather than making ordinary text bigger or bolder:

  • Each page should have a H1-level heading at the top (like the phrase 'Style Guide - contributing to this site' at the top of this page.
  • use other pre-set headings (H2 and H3) elsewhere on the page.

Here is an

H2 heading

then an H3 heading

(Other levels of heading are available, but they are currently configured to display the same as a H3.)


Punts at Magdalen Bridge

Steve Allen

Photos (and other images)

While the system does a good job of resizing images to be displayed correctly in all contexts, it's best to try to use images that are the right size in the first place.

Ideally, mages should be:

  • 1030px wide for use across the whole content area of a page,
  • 750px wide (and a fixed 500px tall) for use across the width of the text column, or
  • 400px wide for use as a smaller image within an article. (This last type will display on the right-hand side of a column of text like this gratuitous picture of punts, with text wrapping around it on the left-hand side. This can't be changed by the user.)

You can also see annotated examples of a number of the different image types, and a video giving step-by-step guidance on how to upload them.


Links...

It's preferable not to spell out links in full. They are ugly on the page, often inconveniently long, and interrupt the reading flow, so:

DON'T write sentences like:

Stern, Lockhart & Gardner's newest equity partner is Alicia Florrick. You can find her profile at: http://www.sternlockhartgardner.com/people/partners/biography.html?person=alicia.florrick

DO hang links on relevant words or phrases, like this:

Stern, Lockhart & Gardner's newest equity partner is Alicia Florrick

... and links on pages, or in documents, that are likely to be printed

There are some cases where it is necessary to spell out a url, for example where the page (or perhaps .pdf, or Word document) is especially likely to be printed out. In these cases, there is still usually no need to write it out in full. But remember, the actual underlying link does need to be complete.

You should leave off the intial 'http://',as modern browsers assume this.

If the closing bit of the url is, 'index.htm', 'index.html', 'index.shtml', 'index.php' or similar, or 'default.htm' etc., or 'home.htm' etc., you can leave that off too, for a similar reason. So:

DON'T use:

Detailed instructions on how to use BiblioCite can be found at http://www.imaginarysoftware.com/bibliocite/index.html

User reviews of the software are at http://www.imaginarysoftware.com/bibliocite/reviews.html

DO use:

Detailed instructions on how to use BiblioCite can be found at www.imaginarysoftware.com/bibliocite/

User reviews of the software are at www.imaginarysoftware.com/bibliocite/reviews.html


News items - tense and time

A news item may stay visible on the site's news pages for some time. This means that news text needs to be written in such a way that the item still makes sense long after the event, so:

DON'T use phrases like:

Last week a team from Lonsdale College won the Lance Todd Trophy for the third consecutive year.

DO use:

On 14 May 2015, a team from Lonsdale College…


Be careful doing copy/paste from other applications

Text copied and pasted directly from Word or email often carries with it a bundle of hidden and usually unwelcome formatting, leading to blocks of content which sit uncomfortably with those around them, or with the other pages on the site. Often the differences are fairly subtle, like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

and sometimes more obviously jarring, like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. 

One way to avoid this is to paste first into an app that will discard all the formatting (including bold and italics, unfortunately). Notepad on the PC does so as soon as you paste into it, and TextEdit on a Mac can do so by  pressing Shift-Cmd-T after the content has been loaded.

Alternatively, most of the edit boxes you will find on our Editing System and blog sites now offer 'Paste as Plain Text' and 'Paste from Word' buttons, like those highlighted here:

which perform the same function, so you get content that fits in properly with its surroundings.


Text Formatting

DON'T use underlines

Underlined text can look a bit like a link, which is unhelpful, and also it's very old-fashioned, dating from the the days of the mechanical typewriter, when it was the only way to add emphasis to a word or phrase. Use bold to make something stand out, and italics to add emphasis.


Some abbreviations

  • The following abbreviations don't take full-stops: Dr BCL MSt MSc MPhil MJur DPhil