RINGCENTRAL BRAND LIBRARY

Editorial Style Guide

Punctuation and symbols

Addition symbol ( + )

  • Don’t use an addition symbol, unless as part of a trademarked name or when expressing mathematics.
  • Never use in place of “and.”
  • Use for Glip Pro+.

Ampersand ( & )

  • Avoid using an ampersand wherever possible (with a few notable exceptions).
  • Use an ampersand in a title, subhead, or menu item where there isn’t room for “and” (rewrite if possible).
  • Use ampersands in initialisms (abbreviations where the letters are pronounced individually): R&D.
  • Use ampersands in trademarked or product names: AT&T, H&R Block.

Apostrophe ( ’ )

  • Use an apostrophe to form a contraction: don’t, you’re.
  • Use to show possession: Mary’s car, five years’ time.
  • Use to indicate missing characters: ’80s music, a ’57 Chevy. Note that in this usage, the apostrophe must face the same direction as it does in a contraction. (Many word-processing programs will treat an apostrophe at the beginning of a word as an open or right-facing single quotation mark.)
  • To type a right-facing apostrophe on a Mac, press opt + shift + [ } ]. In Windows, hold alt and type 2019.
  • To type a left-facing apostrophe on a Mac, press opt + [ } ]. In Windows, hold alt and type 2018.
  • Don’t use an apostrophe to form the plural of a name: keep up with the Joneses, not: keep up with the Jones’.
  • Do not use straight apostrophes (') unless referring to the foot symbol.

Brackets ( [ ] )

  • Use brackets to clarify a direct quotation and avoid reader confusion. Ensure that you don’t change the meaning of the quotation. (Avoid if possible.)
  • When expressing a parenthetical thought or displaying a term’s acronym within parentheses, brackets function as parentheses within parentheses. (Avoid if possible.)

Colon ( : )

  • Use a colon to introduce a list of items.
  • Use a colon to separate two clauses (of which the second expands or illustrates the first).
  • Use to indicate proportion between two numbers: a ratio of 10:1.
  • Use to separate hours from minutes in numerical times of day: 4:30 p.m.
  • In a sentence, lowercase after the colon unless it is followed by two or more complete sentences.
    • There is one food I really love: pizza.
    • Pizza is the best food ever: You can share it with friends. You can also eat it for breakfast.
  • In a title or heading, capitalize the word after the colon.

Comma ( , )

  • Use a serial comma (also known as the Oxford comma) when listing three or more items. Correct: A notorious gambler, Charlie Sheen owed money to his ex-wives, Billy Bob Thornton, and Hugh Grant. Incorrect: A notorious gambler, Charlie Sheen owed money to his ex-wives, Billy Bob Thornton and Hugh Grant.
  • Use a comma when addressing someone directly: Karen, please help.
  • Use a comma after i.e., and e.g., as well as before such as when what follows isn’t restricted to the meaning of the sentence.
  • Commas go after parentheses. TV show episodes (series are in italics), webinars and webcast titles, and articles are set in quotation marks.
  • Use a comma after an introductory phrase (usually a prepositional phrase): Usually, there are too many cooks.
  • Adding states, country names, or academic degrees after city or state/names is considered parenthetical. Paris, France, is the best. Qamar Hussein, MD, is speaking today.
  • Use a comma before a conjunction to join independent clauses of a compound sentence. She tried to finish the steak, but it was too much food.
  • Use a comma to avoid confusion (rewrite if possible): first, second-place winners will eat.
  • Use a comma to separate thousands (three digits) in numbers: 5,555.
  • Use commas to offset a parenthetical or nonessential clause: Apple’s mobile phone, the iPhone, is large.
  • When listing items that contain commas, use semicolons to separate the listed items. | See semicolon.

Copyright ( © )

  • Use the copyright symbol to denote copyright ownership for works other than sound recordings.
  • To create a copyright symbol on a Mac, press opt + [ g ]. In Windows, hold alt and type 0169.
  • When a copyright symbol is needed in plain-text format, use a lowercase “c” in parentheses:(c) 2016 RingCentral.

Currency symbols ( $, £, € )

  • Canadian dollar ($): Use with numerals: $100. If “CAD” is needed for clarity, use in parentheses: $100 (CAD).
  • European currency (€): Use with numerals and without “EUR”: €100, not: €100 EUR.
  • Great Britain pound (£): Use with numerals and without “GBP”: £100, not: £100 GBP.
  • US dollar ($): Use with numerals: $100. If “USD” is needed for clarity, use in parentheses: $100 (USD).

Em dash ( — )

  • Use an em dash to indicate an abrupt change in thought, offset a parenthetical clause, or list examples.
  • Limit em dash use. Consider using semicolons, colons, or commas instead.
  • Don’t capitalize the first word after an em dash unless it’s a proper noun.
  • Don’t use spaces before or after an em dash.
  • When possible, avoid using an em dash near a hyphenated term or en dash.
  • To type an em dash on a Mac, press opt + shift + [ - ] (hyphen key). In Windows, hold alt and type 0151.
  • To type an em dash on an iOS or Android device, press and hold [ - ], and then select [ — ] (the longest dash).
  • Use 2 dashes in plain text. When an em dash is needed in plain-text format, use 2 hyphens: great features--voice, fax, text.

En dash ( – )

  • The en dash indicates a span of time or distance (through or to).
  • The en dash can also be used in place of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one of its elements consists of an open compound or when both elements consist of hyphenated compounds: San Francisco–style pizza.
  • Don’t use spaces around the en dash.
  • Don’t precede with “from.” The party went from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Not The party went from 1 p.m.–6 p.m.
  • To create an en dash on a Mac, press opt + [ - ] (hyphen key). In Windows, hold alt and type 0150.
  • When an en dash is needed in plain-text format, use 1 hyphen: 8:00-5:00 PT.

Ellipsis ( … )

  • An ellipsis indicates omitted words in a direct quote—not a thought that’s trailing off.
  • Don’t capitalize the first word after an ellipsis (unless it’s a proper noun).
  • Don’t begin a sentence with an ellipsis.
  • Don’t use spaces before an ellipsis. Use one space after.
  • If ending a complete sentence with an ellipsis, no period is needed.
  • To create an ellipsis on a Mac, press opt + [ ; ]. In Windows, hold alt and type 0133.
  • An ellipsis is one character, not three periods. However, if an ellipsis is needed in plain-text format, use three periods: Four score and seven years... a new nation.

Exclamation point ( ! )

  • Use very sparingly.
  • If using an exclamation point, use only one. Never use more (and don’t combine with other punctuation).
  • Do not use in email titles (will trigger spam filters).

Hyphen ( - )

  • Use a hyphen for compound adjectives: on-premises PBX, age-appropriate movie.
  • Use a hyphen to break multisyllabic words onto another line. Avoid breaking up words on separate lines.
  • Use when expressing a whole number with a fraction: 1-1/2.
  • Don’t hyphenate proper nouns, especially “RingCentral.”
  • Most adverbial phrases don’t need hyphens. Never use them after adverbs ending in -ly, e.g., constantly evolving newspaper, genetically modified food.
  • For adverbs that do not end in -ly, use hyphens only when there would be a possibility of ambiguity without one, e.g., an ill-prepared speech.
  • More detailed hyphenation rules can be found at chicagomanualofstyle.org/16/images/ch07_tab01.pdf

Parentheses ( ( ) )

  • Use parentheses to indicate a parenthetical thought or show a proper noun’s acronym: bring your own device (BYOD).

Question mark ( ? )

  • Use a question mark at the end of a question or interrogatory phrase: Shall we eat now?
  • Don’t use for an indirect or rhetorical question: The Baha Men want to know who let the dogs out. Who can blame them!
  • Never use more than one question mark (and don’t combine with other punctuation).

Quotation marks ( “” )

  • Quotation marks are used only when quoting something or someone directly. Never use quotation marks for emphasis.
  • Periods and commas are placed inside quotation marks in American English, outside the quotation marks in British.
  • Dashes, semicolons, and exclamation and question marks are placed inside quotation marks if they apply to the quoted matter or outside if they apply to the whole sentence.
  • When describing what a user will see on-screen, put the punctuation outside the quotes, unless the punctuation is part of the quoted item: it just shows “ERROR 8675309”.
  • Always use double quotation marks, with just one exception—when there is a quote within a quote.
  • Quotation marks are used for titles of individual pieces of larger works. Use quotation marks when citing the names of articles, book chapters, webinars, webcasts, TV show/video episodes (series are in italics), acts of a play, and songs. | See italic type.
  • Do not use straight quotes (") unless referring to the inch symbol.

Registered trademark symbol ( ® )

  • Unless specifically instructed otherwise, use this symbol on first mention only.
  • Always apply superscript formatting to this symbol: RingCentral®, not: RingCentral®.
  • To create a registered trademark symbol on a Mac, press opt + [ r ]. In Windows, hold alt and type 0174.
  • When a registered trademark symbol is needed in plain-text format, use a lowercase “r” in parentheses: RingCentral MVP(r).
  • Don’t include trademark symbols in quotes. “I love RingCentral MVP.”

Semicolon ( ; )

  • Use a semicolon to join independent clauses without a conjunction. An em dash may also be used, but semicolons are preferred: The admins made changes; the users benefitted.
  • When listing items that contain commas, use semicolons to separate the listed items: She has lived in Minneapolis, MN; Phoenix, AZ; Oakland, CA; and San Francisco.

Service mark symbol ( SM )

  • Unless specifically instructed otherwise, use this symbol on first mention only.
  • To insert a service mark symbol, either choose superscript then type SM, or go to Insert > Symbol > Symbol Browser and choose SM.
  • When a service mark symbol is needed in plain-text format use a lowercase “sm” in parentheses: App Store(sm).

Slash mark ( / )

  • No spaces on either side.

Trademark symbol ( ™ )

  • Unless specifically instructed otherwise, use this symbol on first mention only.
  • To create a trademark symbol on a Mac, press opt + [ 2 ]. In Windows, hold alt and type 0153.
  • When a trademark symbol is needed in plain-text format, use a lowercase “tm” in parentheses: RingCentral Messaging(tm).
  • Don’t include trademark symbols in quotes. “I love RingCentral MVP.”