Capitalization#

Be judicious and consistent in your use of capitalization. Use capitalization for proper names and proper adjectives and when it’s stylistically required. Don’t use it for common nouns, for emphasis, to attempt to give a word greater status than other words, or randomly.

This topic provides general guidelines to help you decide whether a term should be capitalized. For the correct capitalization of some common terms, see Alphabetical list of terms.

For capitalization guidelines for items other than terms, see the table at the end of this topic.

Capitalize proper nouns and adjectives#

Proper nouns and adjectives include the names of people, places, companies, organizations, products, languages, protocols, and some technologies, as well as trademarks.

Be aware that some of these names might have nonstandard or no capitalization. Always follow the capitalization that’s used by the company, shown in a dictionary, or accepted as standard in the industry.

Examples

Rackspace

Service Advertising Protocol

Hong Kong

WordPress

Fanatical Experience

RackConnect

Fanatical Support

Boolean

Cloud Servers

OpenStack

Linux

Internet

Microsoft Windows

Ethernet

SQL Server

Wi-Fi

PuTTY

lighttpd

For the correct capitalization of Rackspace product names, see the Rackspace Cloud corporate website.

For the correct capitalization of some commonly used third-party names, see Third-party names and trademarks.

Capitalize most abbreviations#

Most abbreviated forms of terms use all capitals, although exceptions exist. Also, be aware that the corresponding spelled-out terms of abbreviations are often not capitalized. When in doubt about the capitalization of an abbreviation or its spelled-out term, consult a dictionary, industry style guide, reputable website, or editor. Following are some examples.

Abbreviation

Spelled-out term

API

application programming interface

GB

gigabyte

GHz

gigahertz

I/O

input/output

JSON

JavaScript Object Notation

Kbps

kilobits per second

REST

Representational State Transfer

SaaS

software as a service

SOA

service-oriented architecture

WSDL

Web Services Description Language

For more information, see Abbreviations.

Capitalization in job titles#

Within Rackspace technical documentation, use the following rules for capitalization in job titles:

Use case

Examples

If you’re referring to a job role in general, don’t use initial capitals.

All support technicians will be allocated an account manager and a career coach.

Don’t use initial capitals where the title is being used as a description.

  • The chief executive is Jane Brown and the associate director is Paul Woods.

  • We have a new information developer.

  • I’ll need to ask our sales director.

  • I work as a software architect.

Use initial capitals where the term is serving as an actual title with the name of a person – just as you would on a business card or email signature.

  • Chief Executive Jane Brown and Paul Woods, Associate Director, were both late.

  • Attendee list: Anna Collins, Editorial Director; Shazeen Iqbal, Chief Financial Officer; Pope Francis

Capitalize team names#

When you use team names in technical documents, use initial capitals as shown in the following table:

Examples of initial capitals in team names

The Support team handles making the change for you.

Contact your Account Management team can tell you what the charge will be.

The Information Development team is amazing!

Contact Information Development <add email link> for instructions.

Capitalize UI labels as shown on the UI#

When you’re documenting part of the interface within a procedure or other type of article or topic, match the capitalization used on the interface.

However, when you use terms from the interface as common nouns, don’t capitalize the terms.

Use

Click the action cog to the left of the check name and select Rename Check.

From the Cloud Control Panel, you can rename a check.

Capitalize the names of product components as appropriate#

Follow the capitalization of major component names that’s established by Marketing, Legal, and the product teams. However, be wary of overcapitalization of product terms. Not every feature or object in a product is a proper noun. For example, the Cloud Servers service enables users to create a server, not a Server. When the user creates a server, the user specifies an image, flavor, and network, not an Image, Flavor, and Network. A Performance server has a data disk and a system disk, not a Data disk and a System disk. A user uses Cloud Load Balancer to create a load balancer, not a Load Balancer.

Many terms that might be capitalized on the interface aren’t capitalized when used as common nouns. When in doubt, consult an existing style sheet, an editor, or the product team (but be aware that product teams sometimes tend to overcapitalize terms). Following are some tips to help you determine whether a noun should be capitalized:

  • Generally, if you can have more than one of something, it’s a common noun and therefore not capitalized.

  • When a common noun follows the name of a product or component, generally that noun isn’t capitalized.

  • When you refer generally to a component, you can use lowercase (as in the utility or the agent).

Examples

Cloud Control Panel

Zipit Backup Utility

Rate Limiting component

Identity service

servers

backups

containers

authentication

Don’t capitalize common nouns#

Most of the time, we have no trouble determining whether a noun is proper or common. However, we have a tendency to capitalize product-specific terms even when they’re really just being used as common nouns. A common noun denotes a whole class of something (for example, servers) or a random member of a class (for example, a server). As a general rule, if you can have more than one of something, it’s a common noun and therefore not capitalized.

Use

Don’t use

You can submit up to 10 messages in a single request, but you must encapsulate them in a collection container (an array in JSON).

You can submit up to 10 Messages in a single Request, but you must encapsulate them in a Collection Container (an Array in JSON).

Repose authentication provides caching for user tokens, roles, and groups.

Repose Authentication provides caching for User Tokens, Roles, and Groups.

Don’t use all capitals for emphasis#

To emphasize a term, show it in italics. To emphasize an important piece of information, consider setting it apart structurally, perhaps as a note.

Reference to other capitalization guidelines#

The following table provides links to other capitalization guidelines in the style guide:

Item

Reference

Code examples

Code examples

Diagram labels

Diagram guidelines

Glossary terms and definitions

Glossaries

Key combinations

Keyboard keys

List items

List items

Placeholder (variable) text

Placeholder (variable) text

Table column headers and text

Tables

Text following colons

Colons

Text following em dashes

Dashes

Titles and headings

Titles and headings