Ellipses Edit

Note: Highlight: In general, avoid using ellipses.

An ellipsis (plural: ellipses) is a set of three contiguous dots that are used to indicate omission of part of a sentence, phrase, paragraph, or content. For documentation purposes, use three periods as the dots in an ellipse, unless you use an ellipsis character. An ellipsis is also used in informal writing to connote a subsiding, hesitating, or fading expression. The word ellipsis originates from the Greek word meaning “omission”.

Using ellipses Using ellipses

Punctuation and spacing Punctuation and spacing

Use three contiguous periods in a row while writing an ellipsis. Avoid using the ellipsis character and make use of periods in general. Insert one space before and after the ellipsis unless a punctuation mark immediately follows the ellipsis; in this case, don’t insert a space after the ellipsis.

Examples

Warning: Not recommended: You need to wait for the post to save…and then publish the post.


Tip: Recommended: You need to wait for the post to save … and then publish the post.

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In text In text

Don’t use ellipses in your documentation. If you have to use ellipses in your documentation, rewrite your content excluding all unnecessary information while including the necessary information. Using ellipses in quoted text is acceptable, unless they appear at the beginning or the end of the text.

Examples

Warning: Not recommended: The WordPress Documentation handbook states “The Codex is a community-created repository for WordPress ….”


Warning: Not recommended: The WordPress Documentation handbook states: ” … and only a WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ user account is required to create a page.”


Tip: Recommended: The WordPress Documentation handbook states “The Codex is a community-created repository for WordPress, … And only a WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ user account is required to create a page.”

Ending a sentence with an ellipsis Ending a sentence with an ellipsis

When a sentence ends with an ellipsis, insert a period right after the three dots of the ellipsis, without any intervening space. This applies for ellipses both in quoted and unquoted text.

Examples

Warning: Not recommended: The WordPress Documentation handbook states “The Codex is a community-created repository for WordPress …”.


Warning: Not recommended: The Codex is a community-created repository for WordPress … .


Tip: Recommended: The Codex is a community-created repository for WordPress ….

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In a user interface In a user interface

Only use ellipses in user interfaces if it is absolutely needed to indicate a pause in conversational UI messages. For example, the text in a UI message might read “Searching the database …“.
When UI elements have text with ellipses in them, exclude them from the documentation describing that UI element, unless it could cause confusion. For example, if the text in the user interface reads “Publish …“, document the text as “click Publish“.

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In illustrations In illustrations

If required, you can use ellipses in multiple-part callouts, such as in images, illustrations, screenshots, and graphics. Insert a space before the ellipsis at the end of a phrase that continues later; and insert an ellipsis followed by a space at the beginning of a phrase that’s continued from a previous phrase. If the callout ends with additional punctuation, such as a period or comma, insert a space between the punctuation mark and the ellipsis.

Example

Tip: Recommended:

Read the instructions in the figure …

[image]

… and proceed to the next step.

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Suspension points Suspension points

When ellipses are used to connote hesitation, a pause, or an unfinished thought, they are known as suspension points. Generally, suspension points indicate an informal, spoken language tone. Avoid using suspension points in your documentation.

Example

Warning: Not recommended: The package installation might not run … but we’ll see.

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