About Style Manual

Use Style Manual when creating Australian Government content.

Style Manual is the definitive resource for government content.

It helps you to put people’s needs at the centre of all the content you create. It’s the toolkit for making information easy to read, accessible and inclusive.

The approach to almost all the guidance in Style Manual is digital first. This reflects the Australian Government’s vision under the Digital Transformation Strategy.

The need for a cross-government Style Manual

People interact with government through content. This might include text on webpages, forms, videos or images.

Across the gov.au domain there are 9 million webpages managed by individual agencies.

A consistent approach to content makes it simpler and faster for people to get things done with government. It means they don’t need to know how government works to find the information or services they need.

When to use Style Manual

Use this manual to write, edit, review, or approve Australian Government content. The guidance applies to all government information, including:

  • digital services and products
  • briefs
  • policy documents
  • reports
  • technical and specialist content
  • government communications.

Points of difference from previous editions

The digital Style Manual supersedes:

  • the sixth edition of the Style manual for authors, editors and printers
  • the Digital Transformation Agency’s Content Guide.

This edition brings together content design and editorial principles.

The focus on content design helps you develop content that meets user needs.

The focus on writing and editing practice continues the heritage of this product from its first edition in 1966.

New guidance covers topics that will help government content meet the needs of people:

  • with low literacy
  • from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • with disability.

Updated topics to reflect contemporary practice include:

  • inclusive language
  • gender and sexual diversity
  • age diversity.

For the latest updates, visit the changelog.

User research and continuous improvement

The Style Manual team continues to test the product with people who create government content.

We will base further updates on:

  • evidence and shifts in Australian style
  • Australian and international standards for accessibility and readability
  • insights from ongoing user research
  • emerging patterns in the feedback we receive.

We welcome your thoughts on Style Manual. You can get in touch with us by filling out the feedback form that you’ll find on every page.

About this page

This page was updated Friday 1 October 2021.

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