Formatting on the Web
Avoid changing the text font or size
We have removed these options from the formatting toolbar in the CMS. Changing the font type or size will override the selected text font and size from the stylesheet for the page. Even selecting what appears to be the same font and size as the typography used on the website will result in text that looks slightly different than the rest of the site.
Use bold and italics in moderation
Overusing these formatting tools detracts from their intended use, which is usually to emphasize a section of text. Some people try to emphasize an entire paragraph by using bold or italics, which makes it harder to read and detracts from the emphasis effect. However, usability research shows that it is more effective to use bold or italics for a single word or phrase, or at most, a sentence.
Avoid using all capitals except for acronyms
Using all capitals makes text more difficult for readers to interpret. Research shows that the human mind uses the ascending and descending parts of letters to help determine the shape of a word. But when faced with a word or phrase in all caps, the brain has no ascenders or descenders to help interpret the shape of the word, seeing instead a rectangle with no identifying features. Therefore, to help the reader interpret the information on the Web page more easily and quickly, avoid using all caps where possible. If you must use all caps, limit the usage to only a word or phrase.
Never use underlines
We have removed the underline button from the formatting toolboar in the CMS. Underlines are another formatting tool that should not be used. Usability studies show that Web users expect anything they see underlined to be a hyperlink. Therefore, underlines should not be used for formatting purposes on the Web. When you create a hyperlink, the underline is applied for you by the style sheet, so even in that instance, there is no need to add underline formatting.
Consider using pre-formatted text styles
There are several pre-formatted text styles that you can use when formatting your text. The pre-formatted style list is available in the top row of the formatting toolbar. It is the only drop-down list in the toolbar.
While there are several options for aligning the text on a page, usability studies recommend using left justification whenever possible. Left justified text is easier for the reader to follow from line to line.
While we don't recommend using tables unless the data needs to be presented in a table to make sense, you can use tables in the CMS. Table formatting is not universal from browser to browser, and so, when using tables, you can't guarantee that the table formatting you're seeing is how everyone will see the page.
If you must use table formatting, it is preferred that all cells are vertically aligned to the top, so that the data always starts at the top of the cell, rather than being centered vertically based on the height of the largest cell. To set the vertical alignment, click on any table cell, then click on the button in the formatting toolbar that has a single table cell highlighted. Change the vertical alignment to top, and then change the option at the bottom of the window to make this change impact all cells in the table. Then click ok.
Although modern operating systems allow file names with spaces in them, it is recommended when uploading a file for use on the Web that you first rename the file without spaces in the file name. Some people use underscores (File_Name.pdf) in file names in place of spaces, or capitalize the first letter of words in the file name (FileName.pdf) to help with readability.
Often the computer will change a space in a file name to %20, which stops the file from working. Do not upload files to the CMS that have %20 in the file name. The best way to avoid this is to use file names without spaces.
Adhering to the university Style Guide
Follow the spelling and name conventions outlined in the university Style Guide (www.pugetsound.edu/styleguide), including the following common problems:
- Don't use a capital U on the word university unless you're using a proper name, such as University of Puget Sound.
- Use Puget Sound when referencing the university as opposed to the more familiar UPS.
- The university standard is to spell email with a hyphen and to refer to "sending an email message" rather than just an "email." It is also preferred to use "email message" as a noun rather than as a verb: "send an email message" versus "email me"