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Guidelines and best practices for creating consistent and easy-to-read capitalisation patterns.

Sentence case

Sentence case is the primary capitalisation style in Balance.

In user interfaces, the more words capitalised, the more time users must spend trying to decipher why things are capitalised or not. Our goal in product copywriting is to help users complete their actions. Minimising the use of capitalised words and phrases helps achieve that goal.

If there's one thing to remember: unless there's a rule to capitalise it, words should be in sentence case.

In sentence case, only the first letter of the first word in the sentence or the phrase is capitalised, except for proper nouns. Use sentence case for almost all copywriting.

Examples include instructional text, page headings, buttons, links, labels, tooltips, column headings, grid headings etc.

Why you should use sentence case:

  • Considered the most readable form of text.
  • Best for skimming. Less cognitive load.
  • Easy for users to distinguish between common nouns and proper nouns. If you have two proper nouns or product names in a sentence, it's easier to read when the rest of it is in sentence case. For example, "Automatic reporting is the latest feature in Payroll, Reckon's flagship product". With the proper nouns being capitalised, the emphasis is on the product and company name.

Other capitalisation styles

Title case

In title case, each word in the phrase is capitalised, except for articles (a, an, the) and most prepositions (in, on, for, etc). Use title case sparingly.

Why you might use title case:

  • It's a proper noun.
  • When referring to a certain page, section, step or feature that has a distinctive name, or that needs emphasis and comes after a preposition.

Upper case

In upper case, every letter of every word is CAPITALISED. Upper case capitalisation should rarely be used.

Why you might use upper case:

  • For abbreviations.
  • When you need to shout out an important word, to bring attention to the following content.
  • To break up styles and build visual contrast.
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