Full Style Guide

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Tone

Our words should convey facts, make an emotional impact, and motivate people to act. Our writing reflects on Anaplan's credibility; the tone we seek is professional, knowledgeable, and respectful, and the copy should be easy and pleasant to read. Following are some ideas that can help you achieve our desired tone.

When you write ask yourself four questions:

  • Who am I writing for? You'll write differently for a C-level executive than for an end user than for an IT professional. Write for your audience—but no matter who you're writing for, don't get bogged down in jargon or try to show off.
  • What do I want to say? If you can't articulate the core of your message in a sentence or two, refine your idea.
  • Why am I writing this? Put another way: What do you want your reader to do?
  • How will my audience receive the message? A discussion post, a known issue item, and a process guide will all have a different tone. Make sure your message is appropriate for the medium.

Key Guidelines

While all content contributors and content managers should familiarize themselves with the full style guide below, the Quick Reference Summary offers a broad overview and examples of best practices. The Community team recommends printing or bookmarking the summary for easy access when authoring content.

References

Style: AP Style. Limited online content can be found at this source. Bound copies of the AP Stylebook are available. See Exceptions to AP Style for details on where we diverge.

Word list: If you have questions about Anaplan-specific words or terms (spelling, usage, punctuation, etc.) start by referencing the style guide word list. If a word is not covered specifically in the word list, refer to the resources below. Contact community@anaplan.com with any questions.

Dictionary: Merriam-Webster. Online at this site.
Additional style reference: The New York Times. If a word or phrase you want to use is not covered by AP Style or Merriam-Webster, search the paper's website and follow the form they use. Bonus: though it's now inactive, the paper's After Deadline blog is a lively source of information.
Additional style reference: Chicago Manual of Style for citations only. See the Statistics and Citations section for details.

Specific Guidelines

The Anaplan Name

  • The company is Anaplan, not Anaplan Inc.
  • The technology is the Anaplan platform or Anaplan's platform whenever possible. Do not capitalize the word platform.

Addresses

For U.S. addresses, use postal codes for states (CA, TX, NY, etc.). This is an exception from AP style. Use no state for cities on AP's dateline list.

American English

Use American English spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules in all English-language materials, unless a piece is written by an EMEA/APAC resident for an all-EMEA/APAC audience. In that case, UK English rules apply; see the UK English section below.

Analysts

Specific rules apply when referring to analyst firms (such as Gartner and Forrester). While you can refer to their citation policies (Gartner and Forrester), it's often fastest and best to contact Analyst Relations (ir@anaplan.com before you proceed.

Absolutes and Superlatives

Avoid best, only, fastest, unique, impossible, always, and other words and phrases that indicate something with no alternative or that we can't prove.

Bold and Italics

Use italics for:

  • Emphasis—but use sparingly.
  • Captions for images in blogs.
  • Complete titles of books.
  • Newspaper and magazine titles. Examples: Financial Times and Newsweek.
  • Click-to-tweet words in blogs.
  • To identify words and phrases used as examples, as we do in this style guide.

Use bold type for:

  • Subheads. (Design will format these in most cases)
  • Lead-off phrases in bullet lists. (This blog has an example.)
  • Cross-references to subheads, as we do in this style guide.

Calls to Action

Our calls to action (CTAs) should be direct, polite, and informative. In blogs, choose between two formats:

  • Visual CTAs consist of a logo, the name of the asset, and a button with a two-word request (examples: Read report, Watch webinar, View infographic).
  • Text CTAs can be more verbose and descriptive but should still make clear what we want the reader to do. Example: Explore the full event agenda and register today.

For related information, see the Links section below.

Capitalization

  • Capitalize sparingly. When in doubt, do not capitalize.
  • For usages that fall under other categories in this style guide, please check the guidelines for those categories (e.g., Lists, Names and Titles, etc.). Reference the word list for specific terms. 
  • In general, do not capitalize topics of discussion (e.g., data integration, calculation functions) unless referencing specific sections of the Community (e.g., Data Integration, Calculation Functions).
  • Do not capitalize elements of the Anaplan platform (e.g., modules, models, functions, fields) unless what you are referencing has a specific proper name.
  • Use sentence case for:
    • H2 and H3 subheadings in articles and posts
    • Links
    • Sentences (of course)
  • Use title case for (to decide which words to capitalize, use this title case checker):
    • Titles of posts and articles
    • Headings within articles and posts (H1 only)
    • Session names and agenda items
    • Calls to action
    • Column and row headers in tables
  • Use all capital letters only for abbreviations and acronyms (but check the word list).
  • Do not use all caps for emphasis. (Use italics for emphasis, but do so sparingly.)
  • If a company name is all lowercase or all uppercase letters, follow their style, even at the beginning of sentences. Examples: DISH and bluecrux.
  • Use initial capitals for Anaplan solutions. Example: Anaplan for Financial Services
  • In the flow of text, do not capitalize industries (financial services) or lines of business (supply chain).

Companies vs. People

  • Companies aren't people, so use the singular impersonal pronoun its when speaking of one company, not the personal pronouns they or their. Example: "Deloitte released its latest app," not "Deloitte released their latest app."
  • When you're speaking of multiple companies, they and their are acceptable. Example: "Deloitte and Anaplan presented their vision for connected planning."
  • Check the names of companies—customers in particular—with the team in customer marketing if you're not sure of the spelling or format.
  • If an individual's gender is clear, use his or her as the pronoun as appropriate. If it's not clear, the singular they and their are acceptable. Grammar nerds, read on.

Community Content Creation

  • There should only be one author per article; the SME needs to be the star. Editors, Content Managers, and Admins need to remove their names as contributors when creating or updating content on behalf of a SME.
  • Use the included attachment function to include files with any article. Do not use links to external sites like Box. Authors are responsible for maintaining their attachments.

Currency

  • U.S. dollars: Use the $ sign and decimal point for amounts over one dollar: $1.01, $2.50.
  • To distinguish the nationality of dollars, use the appropriate ISO codes (USD, CAD, AUD) after the number. Example: $4 million USD.
  • For euros, spell out lower case if it does not start a sentence. Do not use the euro symbol (€). Example: He paid me 12 euros.
  • For Japanese yen, spell out the currency, lower case: Example: 100 yen.
  • Cents: Never use the cent sign (¢). Instead, spell out the word cents and use numerals for amounts less than a dollar: 5 cents, 12 cents.
  • For related information see the Numbers section, below.

Dashes and Hyphens

  • Hypens (-) are used between some words and their prefixes and suffixes (always check the dictionary and word list) and in most cases when two or three words are used as an adjective. Do not put a space on either side of the hyphen.
    • Example of a prefix: co-branding
    • Example of a two-word adjective: decision-making power
    • Example of a three-word adjective: off-balance-sheet accounting

A hyphen is not needed in a two-word adjective in which the first word ends with ly. Example: "commonly held belief."

  • Em dashes (—) cause the reader to pause, and are used for parenthetical statements (in which case they can often be replaced by parentheses or commas) or to emphasize specific words or phrases. Do not put a space on either side of the em dash. To make one on a Mac: shift-option-hyphen.
    • Example of a parenthetical: The em dash is a mark that—unlike commas, periods, semicolons and all the others—doesn't seem to be subject to any rules. (The New York Times is the source of that example.)
    • Example of emphasis: "Provide captions for images used in blogs, white papers, and data sheets—but not for banners."
  • En dashes (–) are used to indicate spans of numbers, dates, or time. An en dash is also used when a multiple-word phrase is used as a modifier. Do not put a space on either side of the en dash. To make one on a Mac: option-hyphen.
    • Example of a span: "I'll be out of the office Tuesday–Friday."
    • Example of a multiple-word modifier: "bill of materials–based budgeting."
  • For more about dashes and hyphens, read this.

Dates and Times

  • Use the month, date, year format for dates: July 27, 2017.
  • Use numbers only, not ordinals, for dates: July 11, not July 11th or July 11th.
  • Use this format for time: 12:30 p.m., not 12:30pm or 12:30 PM.
  • For content targeted at a non-U.S. audience, you may use this date format (with no punctuation): 27 July 2017.
  • Use a 24-hour clock for times outside of North America. Do not use a.m. or p.m.
  • Indicate a time zone when you decide it's necessary. Do not use a time zone in the title/headline of event pages (because the city is noted). The time zone may be used in event details. Time zone specifics:
    • In the U.S., use PT, MT, CT, ET (and do not denote standard vs. daylight savings time).
    • For the UK, use GMT.
    • For Europe, use CET.
    • Consult this site for other time zone abbreviations.
  • Use an en dash for date and time ranges.
    • Example of a date range: June 7–9.
    • Example of a time range: 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
  • Avoid using year numbers (2016, 2017, etc.) when it would make content seem dated. Year numbers should never appear in headlines, but may be used in event details. Always use the full year when discussing Hub.
  • When writing a month and year only, do not add a comma. Example: June 2017.
  • For centuries, use ordinals but not superscripts. Example: 20th century.
  • Be specific when referring to dates and times.
    • Example: "June 2017," not "last June."
    • Example: 2014, not "three years ago."
  • Avoid vague terms like "recent" and "soon."
  • If a.m. or p.m. is at the end of a sentence, use only one period.

Email Addresses and Messaging

  • Email addresses should always be hyperlinked.
  • Email addresses should always be an organization's email (support@, community@, techops@, etc.), never that of a single user (joe.smith@, sally.sue@, etc.).
  • If an individual author wishes to invite users to contact them, they should utilize the Community messaging system.

Exceptions to AP Style

We diverge from AP Style in a few specific instances. They're noted throughout this style guide, and we've collected them here as well.

  • Use the serial (or Oxford) comma—that is, the comma before and in a list of three or more things. Example: The Anaplan platform connects data, people, and plans.
  • A person's title is capitalized, whether before or after the name.
  • Use a person's full name on first use; in subsequent references, use the person's first name only.
  • En dashes (–) are used to indicate spans of numbers, dates, or time. Do not use hyphens.
  • An en dash is also used when a multiple-word phrase is used as a modifier. Example: "bill of materials–based budgeting."
  • Use postal codes for U.S. states (CA, TX, NY, etc.). See the Addresses section above.

Headlines and Subheads (Display Type)

  • Article and blog titles, headlines, decks, and subheads should be in title case.
  • Event agendas are in title case. To decide which words to capitalize, use the title case checker.
  • Use punctuation sparingly in headlines and subheads. Do not use ending punctuation
  • Headlines and subheads should be grammatical but do not need to be as perfectly so as body copy.
  • Headlines and subheads should be interesting, fun to read, and clever (in good taste).
  • Most of all, headlines and subheads should encourage the reader to continue reading.
  • Never use a hashtag in a headline, as it can break social sharing plug-ins
  • Use digits for numbers (even for numbers less than 10) in display type
  • See related information in the Capitalization section above.

Images

  • Images should be used to add helpful, interesting content to written pieces. If an image is just eye candy, delete it.
  • Provide captions for images used in blogs, white papers, and data sheets—but not for banners.
  • Captions should encourage the reader to look at the image and help the reader see what's important. Example: The three tabs in the user interface—dogs, cats, and mice—each provide information tailored to a specific audience.
  • For each image, include alt text that describes the image. Alt text is helpful for the visually impaired and in cases where images do not load. If the image is a call to action, the alt text can be that call to action. Example: Download the white paper.

Kudos

  • Kudos should always be capitalized when referring to Community Kudos (the built-in upvoting feature)
  • Kudos should always be used in the plural (always as Kudos, never Kudo)
  • Usage should be along the lines of give Kudos to this article or leaving Kudos on a post, not leave a Kudos or give a Kudo (think about the phrase giving props and use Kudos the same way)

Lists

  • Use numbers for lists of items that must be performed in sequence.
  • Use bullets for lists that do not need to be presented in order. (The list you're reading is an example.)
  • Give bullet lists in order of logic or importance, if possible. If all items in a list are equal, consider alphabetizing the list.
  • Do not create a bullet list with just one bullet.
  • Make all items in a list grammatically consistent. For example, begin all items with a verb (as in the list you're reading), and don't mix sentences and fragments.
  • If a list flows directly out of an introductory paragraph, make sure that all items flow logically and grammatically from the introduction.
  • Capitalize and punctuate lists consistently.
    • Capitalize the first word of every list item, whether it is a sentence or a fragment.
    • If list items are full sentences, end each item with appropriate punctuation. (The list you're reading is an example of this.)
    • If each item in an agenda can flow into the next, end each item with a comma and do not capitalize the individual list items. See the first list in the Numbers section below for an example of this. (In that example, because one list item includes commas, each item ends in a semicolon.)
    • If list items are single words or ideas, final punctuation may not be necessary. (The list under Capitalization above is an example.)
  • Use this format for in-line numbered lists: This has two benefits: 1) first benefit; and 2) second benefit.

Links

  • Avoid generic calls to action (such as "click here," "find out more," and "learn more").
  • Write short, descriptive text (fewer than five words) saying where the link leads. Example: "Next page," not "To go to the next page, click here."
  • Mirror the heading text on the destination page in links whenever possible.
  • Note a benefit in buttons and links. Example: "Start your free trial" rather than using the word submit.
  • Include SEO words in the link text when possible.
  • Don't include the ending punctuation (periods, question marks, exclamation points) in the link.
  • Do not make link text italics or bold, unless it would be so as normal body copy.
  • Do not use URLs (https://www.anaplan.com or anaplan.com) as links.

Names and Titles

  • Use a person's full name and title on first use.
  • Titles are initial-capped, whether they are before or after the individual's name. (This is an exception to AP Style.) Example: Frank Calderoni, Chief Executive Officer of Anaplan.
  • In subsequent references, use the person's first name only.
  • Do not capitalize a title when it appears in the flow of a sentence, unassociated with a name. Example: "As Anaplan's head of supply chain solutions, I talk with logistics managers every day."
  • Only use Dr. before a name if the person is a medical doctor.
  • Avoid adding degrees (such as PhD) after a person's name unless the person insists.

Numbers

Related guidance can be found in the Date and Time and Currency sections above.

  • Use numerals when
    • a number is greater than 10;
    • for amounts less than one dollar;
    • in headlines;
    • for years;
    • for ages;
    • for coordinates, page numbers, and line references;
    • when a passage contains at least two numbers and at least one is 10 or greater.
  • Use ordinals for street names (42nd Street) but do not use superscripts for ordinals.
  • Use, and write out, ordinals (fourth, seventy-seventh) in spoken pieces such as speeches and voiceovers.
  • Spell out numbers less than 10 or when the first word of a sentence, except in headlines and artwork.
  • For numbers larger than 999,999, use numerals and follow with million, billion, etc.
  • Always use a hyphen when writing out a number that includes two words. Example: seventy-one.
  • Use a comma between every three digits of long numbers, counting from the right, and a period for the decimal point. This rule does not apply to years. We follow U.S. rules, but read this article for an international perspective.
  • Do not use superscripts for ordinals. If you must use an ordinal, use full-size letters. Example: 20th, not 20th
  • For U.S. phone numbers, use this format: 123 123 1234 ext.12. Do not include a country code (+1) unless you anticipate an international audience.
  • For phone numbers outside of the U.S., match the country's spacing format, always using spaces (not hyphens, periods, or parentheses) to mark number groups.

Past vs. Present Tense

When you describe an event that happened in the past, as when writing an event or webinar recap, use past tense. This includes the quotes in your description.

Punctuation

Colons: Use colons to introduce lists, to introduce explanations, or for emphasis. Capitalize the first word after a colon only if it starts a complete sentence or is a proper noun.

  • Example of introducing a list: There were three considerations: expense, time, and feasibility.
  • Example of introducing an explanation:
  • Example of emphasis: He promised this: The company will be successful.

Commas: Use the serial (or Oxford) comma—that is, the comma before and in a list of three or more things. This is an exception to AP Style. Example: "The Anaplan platform connects data, people, and plans."
Comma splice: Avoid connecting two sentences that have different subjects with a comma. For example, write "I didn't like the movie. It was way too long," not "I didn't like the movie, it was way too long." (The subject of the first sentence is I, but the subject of the second sentence is the movie.)
Dashes: See the Dashes and Hyphens section above.
Ellipses: Use an ellipsis (…) to indicate deleted words, but not to denote pauses. Use one space on either side of an ellipsis.
Exclamation points: Refrain from using them. Never use more than one per email or paragraph.
Periods: Use periods at the end of full sentences. Use one space after a period. Do not double space after a period.
Semicolons: Use semicolons to separate elements of a series when one or more segments of the series contain a comma. Example: I watched three movies: Love, Actually; Cars; and Toy Story.

Pronouns

When using pronouns (such as that, which, it, they, who, etc.), always be completely clear what the pronoun refers to. (That's the pronoun's antecedent.) If there's any ambiguity—any question of "What does it refer to in this sentence?"—then reword.

Quotes

  • Use quotation marks only for direct quotes. Do not use them to call attention to words or phrases. Example: don't say this is a "free" trial.
  • Set off full-sentence quotes with a comma. Example: "I am surprised and pleased by the outcome," Scott said.
  • Do not use a comma to set off a partial quote. Example: Scott said he was "surprised and pleased by the outcome."
  • Use single quote marks for quotes within quotes. Example: "When Henry told me, 'I don't want to read the style guide,' I believed him," Fred said.
  • Punctuation always goes within quotation marks. See above examples.

Social Media

On social media—LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and other platforms—be:

  • A brand advocate: Share marketing-approved materials and news about Anaplan from your personal social media accounts.
  • Authentic:
    • Don't use the Anaplan name or logo in your profile name or picture.
    • If you engage in a conversation about Anaplan online, disclose that you work for the company and that your views are your own.
  • Respectful:
    • Do not engage with social media trolls.
    • Do not reference customers, shareholders, or partners without their permission.

Do not post on social media:

  • Confidential business information.
  • Anything about an Anaplan IPO or related topics, including statements that Anaplan is engaging in or discussing a potential IPO.
  • Anaplan's valuation, current or future.
  • Potential market size for Anaplan's offerings.
  • Forward-looking financial or operational metrics. For example, do not share information about job openings until they are made public.

Statistics and Citations

Always cite sources when quoting statistics. Do not use sources over three years old except to set historical context.

  • Cite statistics using footnotes in white papers, e-books, and other materials to be printed. Follow the Chicago Manual of Style for footnote formats.
  • Cite statistics using links in digital materials. See the Links section above.

Avoid using the words stat or stats to refer to statistics.

Symbols

  • Ampersand: Do not use the ampersand (&) in place of the word and except when the ampersand is part of a company's formal name (example: Legal & General), in an abbreviation from our word list (example: S&OP), or in tweets and ads when space is at a premium.
  • Percent: Write out percent (one word) when it appears in a sentence. Use the percent symbol (%) in headlines, labels, infographics, imagery, tweets, ads, and other places where space is at a premium.

Technical Considerations

  • On the Community, do not use any Registered (®) or Trademark (™) symbols for official references to products, services, or companies.
  • File types, when used in the flow of a sentence, should be all lowercase, preceded by a period. Examples: .csv, .exe, .docx, etc.
  • When giving a menu path in documentation steps, use carats between steps and bold the entire path. Example: File > Share > Email Link).
  • When referencing a button or link that a user should click on, the link text should be bold (Example: In the top-right corner of the knowledge base, click Create an article.)

UK English

When a piece is written in English by an EMEA/APAC resident for an EMEA/APAC audience, UK English spelling, grammar, and punctuation can apply. Here are some specifics:

  • Spelling:
    • Certain words end in -ise instead of -ize. Example: humanise vs. humanize.
    • Certain words end in -our instead of -or. Example: humour vs. humor.
    • Certain words use two L's instead of one. Examples: modelling and cancelling vs. modeling and canceling.
    • Per cent is written as two words.
  • Grammar: A collective noun (such as company, team, and group) takes a plural verb in UK English. Example: "The team are winning," not "The team is winning."
  • Dashes: In place of an em dash, use an en dash with spaces on either side.
  • Quotations: Use single quotation marks (an apostrophe in the U.S.) to denote quotes.

Anaplan Leaders

When referring to Anaplan leaders, get their titles right, and keep them consistent.

Name Position Bio on website?
Frank Calderoni President and CEO Yes
Anup Singh Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Yes
Michael Gould Founder Yes
Marilyn Miller Chief People Officer Yes
Simon Tucker Chief Customer Officer Yes
Maria Pergolino Chief Marketing Officer Yes
Steven Birdsall Chief Revenue Officer Yes
Sampath Gomatam Vice President, Product Management Yes
Jack Whyte Global Vice President of Engineering Yes
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