Changelog

Stay up to date with revisions and additions to the Style Manual.

February to April 2024

Major revision

Dates and time

‘Dates and time’ has a new structure, revised guidance, new content and updated examples.
To ensure the Changelog is readable, we list major changes only. Minor changes have been logged internally.

Rule changes

  • Shortened forms for months and days of the week – We allow more contractions for use as standard abbreviations: ‘Tue’ ‘Thur’ ‘Thu’ ‘Jun’ ‘Jul’ ‘Sep’.
  • World wars – The amended rule replaces the distinction between Australian and American styles with 2 acceptable styles: ‘First World War’ and ‘World War I’. Our recommendation to use roman numerals is based on corpus evidence, but we acknowledge the use of ‘1’ and ‘2’ by some agencies.

    There is a rule change for the shortened form. We now recommend using roman numerals not arabic numerals – write ‘WWII’ not ‘WW2’. 

  • Centuries – Write all centuries with numerals (3rd century). Under the previous rule, both words (third century) or numerals (3rd century) were acceptable style. Evidence supporting the change came from expert advice and corpus data.

    We have added an exception for centuries to the relevant rule on the ‘Ordinal numbers’ page.

  • Time zones – The initialisms for time zones now appear after the time (13:45 AEST) not before the time (AEST 13:45).

New headings

These headings contain content not covered previously.

  • Dates and spans – ‘Use en dashes for particular types of year spans’ (H2), ‘Use words for spans of days and months in body text’ (H2) and ‘Use en dashes for spans of days and months when space is limited’ (H2)
  • UTC – ‘Coordinated Universal Time’ (H3)
  • Time and spans – ‘Use en dashes for spans of time when space is limited’ (H2) and ‘Follow the manual’s number rules for duration’ (H2)
  • Dates and times together – ‘How to combine dates and times’ (H2) and ‘Combining dates and times when space is limited’ (H3)
  • Shortened forms for time units – ‘Use shortened forms for units of time when space is limited’ (H2)
  • Standards for dates and time – ‘Meet standards for data systems and information interchange’ (H2) and associated H3s:
    • ‘Standards are voluntary’
    • ‘Basic and extended formats’
    • ‘Calendar date’
    • ‘Local time of day’
    • ‘Ordinal date’ (revision)
    • ‘Combined date and local time of day’
  • Instructions – ‘Insert a non-breaking space correctly’

August to October 2023

National Archives of Australia (NAA) advice to remove references to decommissioned Australian Government Locator Service (AGLS). Changes to 3 pages: Keywords and search engines, On-page optimisation and Understanding search engines.

May to July 2023

Parliaments and councils: examples updated.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: change from the term ‘First Nations Australians’ to ‘First Nations people’.

Royalty, vice-royalty and nobility: changes to titles for the current and former Australian monarchs after the Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen, 6 May 2023.

January to March 2023

Major revision

Mathematical relationships

  • ­‘Use words instead of symbols to improve accessibility’ (H2) text added to better explain why words are preferred in general content; additional examples
  • Rules about symbols restructured under new heading ‘Use symbols when user research supports their use’ (H2)
  • ­The following H3 sections under ‘Use symbols when user research supports their use’ are amended:
    • ‘Use code for symbols, not punctuation’ more symbols added; the terms ‘operators’ and ‘relations’ explained; example changed
    • ‘Don’t use a symbol or a space for ratios’ section moved higher up for flow; explanatory text added to examples
    • ‘Subtraction and negative numbers’ new text and additional examples
    • ‘Division’ now a stand-alone section; revised with new information about narrow no-break spaces and thin spaces; example algebraic expressions added and italicised as per mathematical style
    • ‘Multiplication’ now a stand-alone section; revised with new information about the multiplication dot; new examples added for dot and asterisk.
  • ­The following H3 sections under ‘Use symbols when user research supports their use’ are new:
    • ‘Note on terminology’ new section to support change from ‘sign’ to ‘symbol’
    • ‘Don’t use a space if a symbol modifies a value’
    • ‘Use the correct style for equations’.
  • New table ‘Codes for mathematical symbols’ shows Unicode characters, HTML coding and Word subsets for common mathematical symbols
  • ‘Release notes’ updated
  • ‘Evidence’ and ‘References’ – citations added 

October to December 2022

Acronyms and initialisms

  • Definition of acronym – expanded to include initial syllables; new example
  • Definition of initialism – expanded to include initial sounds; new example
  • Shortened forms that combine an initialism and an acronym  – new definition and examples
  • ‘Check the correct shortened form for government organisations’  – example changed
  • ‘Use capitals for most acronyms and initialisms’  – new example
  • ‘Release notes’ updated
  • ‘References’ – citations added

Changes for consistency: standardise style of state and territory governments that appear as author in page references.

Literacy and access

July to September 2022

Updates and changes after the death of Her Majesty The Queen

Australian Defence Force

  • Terminology – new rules and examples
  • Order of precedence for arms of the ADF – new rule and example
  • Names in body text – new rule and example
  • Hyphen in ‘Air Vice-Marshal’ (rule change)
  • Post-nominal ‘RAN’ (new rule and examples)
  • Chaplains (explanatory text and examples added)
  • Maritime spiritual wellbeing officers (MSWOs) (new rule and examples)
  • Address blocks (new rule and examples)
  • Salutations (expanded rule and examples)
  • Salutations for MSWOs (new rule and examples)
  • Table of ‘Ranks and salutations’ (new content)

April to June 2022

Apostrophes

  • Description of ‘possession’ in first paragraph (expanded)
  • Table of noun possession rules (2 new categories and examples added)
  • Descriptive phrases and the possessive form (explanatory text and examples added)
  • Shortened forms – possessive, plural and definitions (new rules and examples)
  • Possessive pronouns divided into 2 types – possessive pronouns and determiners (rule and examples changed)
  • Apostrophes in periods of time (explanatory text added)
  • No apostrophe for plural nouns that aren’t usually nouns (rule and examples changed)
  • Single letter and digit plurals (text and example added)
  • Apostrophes can stand in for sounds (explanatory text added)
  • Apostrophes in official names (examples added)

January to March 2022

Telephone numbers

  • ‘13’, ‘1300’ and ‘1800’ numbers (examples added)
  • ‘Blocks’ of digits are now ‘chunks’ of digits (terminology change)
  • Inoperative telephone number examples checked (examples changed)
  • Non-breaking thin space for ‘Print considerations’ (rule change)
  • Non-breaking space advice standardised (consistency across pages)
  • ‘Phone words’ example replaced (example change)

Academics and professionals

  • Capitalisation linked to the title’s position in relation to the name (rule change)
  • Introduction of a ‘full title’ for use in display and presentation contexts (new rule and examples)
  • Shortened forms of titles (new rule and examples)
  • Treatment of titles and post-nominals at first mention (new rule and examples)
  • ‘Titles of medical practitioners, dentists and veterinarians’ (new content added to section)
  • Different types of academic titles (examples added)

Natural phenomena

  • Use initial capitals for ‘Cyclone’, ‘Tropical Cyclone’ and ‘Severe Tropical Cyclone’, as well as for the given names of cyclones (rule change agreed with the Bureau of Meteorology)
  • Capitalisation rule also applies to hurricanes and typhoons

Ordinal numbers

  • Now combined under the first heading: rules and examples for writing ordinals in words or numerals; rule for not using superscript for suffixes (restructure)
  • Clearer explanation of the ‘Don’t use “thirdly” in general content’ rule (updated content, new examples)
  • Add organisation name that includes a spelt-out ordinal above ‘10th’ (new example)

October to December 2021

Lists

  • Punctuating lead-ins and headings consistently (new content)
  • ‘Phrase lead-in’, not ‘fragment lead-in’ (terminology change)
  • In addition to full stop, colon now permitted after a sentence lead-in (expanded rule)
  • Addition of lead-in sentence as an option for fragment lists (new rule and example)

July to September 2021

Choosing numerals or words

  • Use commas in numbers with 4 or more digits (add rule from Commas and new examples)
  • Consequential update to Commas to ensure consistency

Spelling

  • Relationship between Australian spellings and other spelling systems (updated content)
  • Dictionaries are descriptive rather than prescriptive (new content)
  • Spelling changes from sixth edition (new content)

Organisation names

  • Punctuation rule in ‘Shortened forms as part of the name’ now consistent with other guidance (rule change)
  • Registered business names (new rule and examples)

April to June 2021

PDF (Portable Document Format): new topic page.

January to March 2021

Updates, clarifications and corrections to:

December 2020

New accessibility and inclusion topic pages for:

Version 1.0 (24 September 2020)

The following headings refer to published content for the digital Style Manual, version 1.0.

Each heading sets out changes from Content Guide and the sixth edition of the Style manual for authors, editors and printers.

Fixes to version 1.0 include minor edits, new examples, structural adjustments, internal cross-linking and new references. These fixes are listed under each heading.

Understanding user needs

Version 1.0 had:

Content formats

Version 1.0 had new guidance on:

Version 1.0 offered print considerations but focused on digital-first formats for:

It included:

Between 9 and 13 October 2020 fixes included:

Clear language and writing style

Version 1.0:

Between 9 and 26 October 2020 fixes included:

  • a structural adjustment on the page and relating inclusive language to plain language and word choice 
  • adjustment to page structure, enhanced guidance and new examples on sentences 
  • a minor edit and an updated example on phrases 
  • minor edits, clarified examples and more internal links on clauses 
  • minor edits, more examples and internal links on verbs 
  • minor edits and updated examples on nouns 
  • minor edits, more internal links and an added reference on pronouns 
  • more examples and minor edits to text and page structure on paragraphs.

On 7 December 2020 fixes included:

  • adjusted heading re use of 'no' with numerals in contractions
  • new examples on expressing ideas and the persona and internal links on voice and tone.

Inclusive language

Version 1.0 had:

On 9 October 2020 fixes included:

Structure

Version 1.0 had:

Between 29 September and 12 October 2020 fixes included:

On 7 December 2020, fixes included:

  • updated examples and guidance on when to use list styles to lists.

Findable content

Version 1.0 had:

Between 11 September and 25 October 2020 fixes included:

General conventions, editing and proofreading

Version 1.0 had:

The Australian concise Oxford dictionary, corpus data and consultation informed advice on spelling.

On 7 December 2020 fixes included:

Names and terms

Version 1.0 had:

From 22 September to 10 November 2020 fixes included:

On 7 December 2020 fixes included:

Numbers and measurements

Version 1.0 had:

On 14 October and 9 November 2020 fixes included:

Punctuation marks

Version 1.0 had:

Referencing and attribution

Version 1.0 had:

Titles, honours, forms of address

Version 1.0 had:

On 30 October 2020 fixes included:

  • updated and corrected on members of Australian parliaments and councils:
    - an error/omission about post-nominals for members of lower houses in states and territories
    - added text for clarification
    - carried corrections through examples on this page.

About this page

This page was updated Thursday 28 March 2024.

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