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Style Manual


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

Understanding user needs

The digital Style Manual (DSM), version 1.0, introduces a new topic on user research and content.

It has a digital focus for:

DSM 1.0 has more detail and updated statistics on literacy and access.

Content formats

DSM version 1.1 fixes include:

DSM 1.0 has new guidance on:

It offers print considerations but focuses on digital-first formats for:

DSM 1.0 release:

It has new and detailed content about alt text, captions and titles for images. It also gives an overview of technical standards and accessibility requirements for video and audio formats.

DSM 1.0 links to authoritative sources for compliance topics, such as security classifications and protective markings. Contextual links also cover:

  • accessibility
  • copyright
  • information management requirements.

Clear language and writing style

DSM 1.2 fixes include added examples and minor edits to text and page structure on paragraphs.

DSM 1.1 fixes include:

  • a structural adjustment on the page and relating inclusive language to plain language and word choice
  • adjusted 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.

DSM 1.0:

It supports plain language guidance with grammatical information on parts of sentences (including clauses and phrases). It relates word choice to grammatical information about types of words.

DSM 1.0 also:

Inclusive language

DSM 1.1 fixes include adjusted examples and more internal links on cultural and linguistic diversity.

DSM 1.0:


DSM 1.1 fixes include:

DSM 1.0:

Findable content

DSM 1.2 fixes include:

DSM 1.0 release expands information on understanding search engines.

It incorporates information from the Content Guide on:

General conventions, editing and proofreading

DSM 1.0:

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

Names and terms

DSM 1.2 fixes include:

DSM 1.0:

Guidance on personal names and cultural and linguistic diversity complements style advice for nationalities, peoples and places outside Australia.

The new general rule not to use full stops with abbreviations removes the requirement to use a full stop with abbreviated:

Numbers and measurements

DSM 1.1 fixes include more internal links on choosing words or numerals.

DSM 1.0:

Punctuation marks

DSM 1.0:

Referencing and attribution

DSM 1.0:

It also covers citation style for:

DSM 1.0 consolidates information on shortened forms used in referencing. To support style guidance for citing legal material, it has new guidance on abbreviations for authorised and unauthorised reports.

Titles, honours, forms of address

DSM 1.0 gives updated guidance and examples on forms of address for royalty, vice-royalty and nobility. It gives detailed advice about titles and post-nominals related to awards and honours.

It also refreshes guidance on forms of address and titles for:

About this page

This page was updated Monday 9 November 2020.

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