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The Style Guide is a guideline designed to maintain consistency over the whole of Microsoft Wiki. Please read this guide, since it explains many aspects of editing the wiki, and will help you to avoid your contributions being changed greatly.

Naming pages

Pages should be named in sentence case, which is mainly for technical reasons. So use "Critism of microsoft" rather than "Critisim Of Microsoft". This is done because of the way MediaWiki software was developed around wikitext, and how titles should make wikitext links easy to use when linking ordinary text. So if "bugs in word" is in an article and you want to link to an article called "Bugs In Word" you would have to do this:
[[Bugs In Word|bugs in word]]
. Instead if the article were called "Bugs in word" you would only have to add
[[]]
around the text "bugs in wordt":
[[bugs in word]]
. This is possible because MediaWiki automatically capitalizes the first letter of all titles.
  • Personal computer (correct)

Proper nouns should be capitalized as they would be in plain text:

  • Windows 7 (correct)
  • Microsoft Windows (correct)

Pluralization

Avoid it. The vast majority of articles should be singular nouns. In some rare cases a present participle (or a gerund) is used because that is the most common description of the subject.

  • Microsoft (correct)
  • Microsoft Word (correct)
  • PC (correct)
  • Hyperlink (correct)

Note that it makes no difference whether the object is only ever used in pairs; use the singular for linking and searching optimization.

Parentheses

Only disambiguated articles should contain parentheses; that is an article where its title is shared with other articles. There are two reasons for this:

  • Ease of use. Linking to, and finding, articles with parentheses may be more difficult.
  • Technical. MediaWiki makes it possible to use the pipe
    |
    to remove parenthesized words from links.

Special characters

Avoid using special characters in titles. If unavoidable, contact an admin and explain why you think this is so. Seriously avoid uses characters such as these
" # $ * + < > = @ [ ] \ / ^ ` { } | ~
because they are interpreted by browsers for different things. The
#
symbol is used to find headings (and other things) in articles; the
/
character is used to form a subpage (a subordinate page); double quotes
"
cause errors in scripting languages, such as JavaScript, which are part of MediaWiki software. So use single quotes
'
, or omit them altogether, instead. Other special characters may even be removed by MediaWiki when creating the article.

Files

When naming images (before) you upload to the Wiki, please make the name humanly readable. For example, "IMG001.jpg" doesn't help anybody. A good practice is to name it after the exact object the photograph illustrates, such as naming a screenshot of word, "Screensot_Of_Word_2003"

Layout

Lead section

This is an introduction to the article, and summary of it. There should be no heading for this section and as such the table of contents should appear below it.

Headings

Headings, or sections, are used to break up an article and allow readers to find specific information more quickly. There is also a hierarchy to headings. For major sections use only level 2 headings, e.g.
==Level 2==
, that in wikitext have two equal signs on either side (or visually are the biggest headings with a line underneath). More specific and or suitable headings may, of course, be used. Sub-headings may also be placed after a major section heading by using level 3 headings
===Level 3===
that, in wikitext, have three equal signs on either side. This hierarchical process can continue to level 6, but going beyond level 4 is unnecessary and, at which point, you would probably like to rethink the article's structure. There are no common level 3 (and onwards) headings.

Headings should be in sentence case, not title case. So any words after the first should be in lower case unless these are proper nouns:

  • Section heading (correct)
  • Microsoft Windows (correct)

This is partly because these are sections, but also to make linking in wikitext easier. Even if you know the section heading, the capitalization would be hard to guess. This way it should be clear without the need to look it up. Headings should be kept as short as possible for much the same reason.

Writing

Generally, your writing should be kept as simple and concise as possible. However, that does not mean that you should treat readers poorly, but rather that you should avoid unnecessarily complex language and superfluous text.

Spelling, grammar and terminology

There is no site wide standard in regard to American English versus British English. A best practice would be to follow what is primarily used in the country from which the article's subject originates. However, within articles maintain consistency by not switching back and forth between American and British English.

If the country of origin for the article's subject either does not have English as an official language or uses a less common dialect of English, the default is British English for European countries, but otherwise use American English.

Technical limitations: There are exceptions to this that are, alas, numerous. One such example would be apostrophes ' since they conflict with wikitext. It's best to avoid single 'quoted' words when you are applying bold formatting. Placing four apostrophes around a word
''''this''''
confuses MediaWiki and produces 'this'. (Plural possessives make fixing this problem doubtful:
'''examples''''
= examples'.) Use double-quotes " instead, even if you usually use apostrophes for highlighting technical/slang/nicknames.

For tech-savvy users, the HTML &apos; entity doesn't work because the Visual Editor replaces them with Unicode (substitutes the code with ' ). However, the typographically correct single quotes &lsquo; ‘ and &rsquo; ’ do work, but are a pain to keep typing. See, Help:Custom edit buttons.

Structure

Please keep paragraphs as short as possible, and if you change topic then change paragraph. This also means you should try to avoid starting paragraphs with a conjunction, e.g. and, but, however, if etc., instead start a paragraph with a subject, e.g. The Computer was built between...

Formatting

See here for more information.

Avoid formatting as much as possible. Reserve bold formatting for the first mention of the name of the article, such as in the introduction, and use italic formatting for names of groups or organizations. Emphasis, or stressed words, should not be used in articles. Note that you should never use underline formatting as it looks like a hyperlink when on the internet.

Linking

Please link to recurring terms the fewest number of times possible to avoid fouling the readability of an article. For short articles link to the first instance of the term where ever that might appear; for longer articles link to the term once in the introduction (if applicable) and once in the body; for very long articles link once in the introduction (if applicable) and once for every section.

Red links

Red links, or alternatively redlinks, are hyperlinks that appear red because they link to a page that has no text. These are useful as they show new users something that is needed. However, you shouldn't link to topics that are unlikely to be created on this wiki.

Tables

See here for more information.
Wikitext tables may be used in articles, but not excessively. If there's an article that needs many tables, then it may be a good idea to create a template for each of them. This will make the source more readable. When creating any tables in articles please use
class="wikitable"
like so:
{| class="wikitable"
<!-- rows go here -->
|}

As this will maintain a consistent table style throughout the wiki. To show the styling, here's a more advanced table:

{| class="wikitable"
|
! scope="col" | Column heading
! scope="col" | Column heading
|-
! scope="row" | Row heading
| Data cell || Data cell
|-
! scope="row" | Row heading
| Data cell || Data cell
|}
Column heading Column heading
Row heading Data cell Data cell
Row heading Data cell Data cell
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