Projects/Usability/HIG/Capitalization

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Purpose

Capitalization is a feature of case-sensitive languages to foster relevance. In terms of software it draws attention to words with capital letters. For a consistent look and feel of the software it is important to implement capitalization consistently. On the other hand, capitalization slows down translation and increases the risk of inconsistent terminology.

Guidelines

There are two types of capitalization, title capitalization and sentence style capitalization:

Title Capitalization

Title capitalization is when every word in a sentence, statement, phrase, or label are capitalized except for certain words. Capitalize all words except for:

  • Prepositions having less than five letters, (e.g. "for", "in", "with" or "to", but "From" or "Under")
  • Conjunctions ("and", "or" and "but")
  • Articles ("the", "a" and "an")


Use title capitalization in the following cases:

  • Window and dialog box titles
  • Group box / group line labels
  • Button labels
  • Tab labels
  • Listview column headers
  • Menu titles / menu items
  • Derivatives of KCommand
  • Combobox items
  • Listbox items
  • Tree list items
  • Other heading/title text

Sentence Style Capitalization

Sentence style capitalization is when the first letter of the sentence, statement, phrase, or label is capitalized and all other words are lower case. The only exception to this is proper nouns which are always capitalized.

Use sentence style capitalization in the following cases:

  • Edit box labels
  • List box labels
  • Combo box labels
  • Spin box labels
  • Check box labels
  • Option button labels
  • Slider labels
  • Pop-up hint text
  • Dialog header/description
  • Other non heading/title text

Acronyms/Initialisms, Internet

  • Words such as URL, JPEG, or LDAP should be written in capital letters
  • Internet (if referring to the Internet) takes a capital I.

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