Microsoft Writing Style Guide Released

This post was written by Palle Petersen, Senior Program Manager working in Microsoft's Global Readiness team.

Today, we're happy to announce that we’ve launched the Microsoft Writing Style Guide!

Style guide banner

The goal of the Microsoft Writing Style Guide is to help editors, technical writers, developers, marketers, and anyone else in IT write better content.

Since 1995, Microsoft has provided writing guidelines to editors and developers. The new Microsoft Writing Style Guide brings the guidance up-to-date for 2018 and is an evolution of the Microsoft Manual of Style from 2012. The principles and guidelines in the guide are the same as those used by internal Microsoft writers, which allows consistent quality and style across all apps and content.

In the guide, you'll find:

  • An overview of the Microsoft brand voice principles: warm and relaxed, crisp and clear, and ready to lend a hand.
  • A 300-plus topic word list that clarifies the correct spelling and usage of industry terms like platform as a service, cybersecurity, and chatbot, or capitalization issues (Machine Learning vs. machine learning).
  • Collections of terms from specific domains, for example the cloud computing term list and the bot term list.
  • For developers: tips on how to write code examples and reference documentation, and how to format text elements.
  • Guidelines for ensuring that content is accessible, adapted for localization, bias-free, and works on multiple devices.

If you'd like to hear more about the history of writing style at Microsoft, check out the Words Work Podcast, where lead editor Catherine Minden talks about the creation of the new style guide.