Use the following guidelines for showing numbers in documentation.

Numbers versus words#

Spell out numbers from zero through nine, except in the cases shown in the following table. In these cases, or if the number is 10 or larger, use numerals.



Numbers as they’re displayed

The returned value is 0.

Numbers to use as input

Type 1 and press Enter.

Series of the same type of items where at least one of the numbers is greater than nine

Unit A requires 5 nodes, Unit B requires 17 nodes, and Unit C requires 9 nodes.

Numbers with symbols


Numbers with units of measure or abbreviations

5 mm, 3-inch disk

Numbers that indicate dimensions

8x8 feet


5:45 p.m.

Avoid beginning a sentence with a number. If you must begin a sentence with a number, spell out the number unless the number is part of a product, service, or company name.


Ten vendors, including Rackspace, were assessed based on the following attributes:

451 Research applied a weighting system to highlight the attributes that are most valued by end users.

Don’t use the spelled-out form of a number followed by a numeral in parentheses. However, if you think that a user might misread the numeral 0 as the letter O, you can clarify by spelling out zero parenthetically after the numeral.


Don’t use

two panels

zero probability

Enter 0 (zero). (acceptable)

two (2) panels

zero (0) probability

Commas in numbers#

Use commas in numbers with five or more digits. However, don’t use commas in the following types of numbers:

  • Addresses

  • Fractional part of a decimal number

  • Page numbers

  • Literal representations of user-entered values or displayed values


Don’t use

9001 N IH 35


page 1055

1024 bytes

9,001 N IH 35


page 1,055

1,024 bytes


Don’t use European-style numbering, which uses commas in the place of periods. For example, use 3.14159, not 3,14159.

Ranges of numbers#

When describing number ranges, use the following guidelines:

  • To describe an inclusive range, use through. When space is limited, use an en dash instead. Don’t use the word inclusive in your description.

  • Use prepositions as follows:

    • If you use between to introduce a range, use and to conclude the range. Using between and and implies a noninclusive range.

    • If you use from to introduce a range, use through or to to conclude the range.

    • Don’t mix between or from with an en dash.


Don’t use

step 12 through step 16 options 11–15 (limited space) any value from 1 through 258

step 12 through step 16, inclusive

from 10 to 20 diagrams

from 10–20 diagrams

between 2010 and 2012

between 2000–2002

Unspecified, generic, and unknown numbers#

To represent an unspecified or generic number, use n as the variable and apply italics.

To represent an unspecified or unknown version number, use x for each digit and apply italics.


Move the insertion point n spaces to the right.

Select the Use n I/O Sessions check box.

Your BlackBerry software must be version 4.x.