S Edit

save save

Use as a verb to describe saving files to a device or storage device.

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screen screen

Use screen to refer to what the user looks at on a device.

Don’t use as a synonym for display.

See also display.

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screenshot screenshot

One word. Not screen shot or screen-shot.

See also photo.

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screen resolution screen resolution

See resolution.

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scroll scroll

In user documentation, it’s OK to use scroll to describe moving through pages, documents, and other items instead of drag or swipe.

Don’t use scroll as a transitive verb.

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scroll bar scroll bar

In general, emphasize on the task to be accomplished, rather than how the user should interact with the UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. element.

For more information, see UI elements.

See also scroll.

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SDK SDK

Initialism for Software Development Kit. Use uppercase.

For more information about spelling out abbreviations, see Abbreviations.

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Use only as a verb, not as a noun or adjective.

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search and replace search and replace

Don’t use to describe finding and replacing things in a document or page. Instead, use find and replace.

See also find and replace.

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see see

OK to use when referring to links and cross-references.

For more information, see Link text and Cross-references.

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select select

Use select when referring to the action of the user selecting targets such as menu commands, checkboxes, items, and dropdown lists. Select can be used interchangeably instead of click or check in describing checkboxes and dropdown lists.

See also Interaction verbs.

See also clear, click, double click, double-click, double tap, double-tap, press, press and hold, tap, double-tap.

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self- self-

In general, hyphenate words beginning with self- such as self-sufficient and self-explanatory, unless self- is followed by a proper noun or it is absolutely necessary to avoid confusion.

For more information, see Hyphens.

For word usage of specific terms, see The American Heritage Dictionary.

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set set

Avoid using to describe user interactions with UI elements. Instead, use contextually relevant verbs.

OK to use in developer documentation and for a technical audience.

For more information, see Interaction verbs.

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setup, set up setup, set up

As a noun and an adjective, use setup and as a verb use two words as in set up.

Don’t hyphenate.

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SFTPSFTP SFTP is an acronym for Secure File Transfer Protocol: A standard protocol to move computer files from one host to another over the Internet with enhanced security. SFTP

Initialism for Simple File Transfer Protocol. Use uppercase.

It’s OK to use lowercase in developer documentation, such as commands.

For more information about spelling out abbreviations, see Abbreviations.

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shaded shaded

In general, emphasize on the task to be accomplished, rather than how the user should interact with the UI element.

Don’t use to describe a UI element such as a menu item, dropdown list option, or button that the user can’t interact with due to certain conditions. Instead, use not available or unavailable. If you must describe their appearance, use appears dimmed.

For more information, see UI elements.

See also dimmed, disable, disabled, unavailable.

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shell shell

OK to use as a noun in developer documentation and for a technical audience. Avoid using in user documentation and for a general audience.

Don’t use as a verb, such as shell or shell out. Instead, use a contextually relevant phrase, such as create a new shell.

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shortcut shortcut

One word. Not short cut or short-cut.

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should should

Use only when an action is recommended, but optional. Don’t use should to indicate probability. If you can’t make a definitive statement, use might or rephrase the statement.

Example

Tip: Recommended: You should back up your website regularly.

See also must.

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shut down, shutdown shut down, shutdown

Use one word as a noun, and two words as a verb.

Use shut down to describe exiting an operating system and turning off the device in a single action.

Don’t use shut down to describe turning off a device or as a synonym for close.

For more information, see Interaction verbs.

See also turn on, turn off, shut down, shutdown.

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sign in, sign-in, sign out sign in, sign-in, sign out

Hyphenate as a noun and adjective, as in sign-in screen. Use two words as a verb, as in sign in to your account and sign out of your account.

Use sign in and sign out to refer to start and end the procedure of starting use of an internet account.

Use sign in to and sign out of.

Don’t use sign off, sign off of, or sign off from.

See also login, log in, logout, log out, sign-on, sign.

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sign-on, sign on sign-on, sign on

Hyphenate in in phrases such as single sign-on. Don’t hyphenate as a verb.

See also sign in, sign-in, sign out.

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simple, simply simple, simply

Avoid using. What might be simple for one person, may not be simple for others.

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site site

Use to describe a collection of webpages which are part of a bigger collective, such as the WordPress site. It’s OK to use website instead of site for clarity.

See also page, website.

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sitemap sitemap

One word. Not site map or site-map.

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since since

Don’t use as a synonym for because. Since can be ambiguous and could refer to time. Because refers to a reason for something.

See because

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size size

Avoid using size as a verb, as in size the window. Instead, use change the size of or resize.

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-size -size

In general, don’t hyphenate words ending with size such as medium-size and letter-size

Not -sized.

For more information, see Hyphens.

For word usage of specific terms, see The American Heritage Dictionary.

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slave slave

Avoid using whenever possible.

See master, master/slave.

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sleep sleep

Use to describe putting a device into a energy-saving state without shutting it down.

The computer goes to sleep, or the user can put it to sleep; the computer is then in sleep or in sleep mode. Don’t use the computer is sleeping or the computer is asleep.

See also shut down, shutdown.

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slider slider

OK to use in developer documentation and for a technical audience.

In general, emphasize on the task to be accomplished, rather than how the user should interact with the UI element. Refer to an slider by its label. If you have to use a descriptor, use slider.

In user documentation, it’s OK to use slider when you need to describe the UI element used to set a value on a continuous range of possible values, such as screen brightness or volume.

For more information, see UI elements.

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SMTP SMTP

Initialism for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Use uppercase.

It’s OK to use lowercase in developer documentation, such as protocols commands.

For more information about spelling out abbreviations, see Abbreviations.

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sorry sorry

Use sorry only when the user is asked to do something inconvenient, the user can’t use the product, the application or site is to blame for the situation, or when there is an issue with the product. It’s OK to use sorry for other inconveniences such as data loss, errors, application failure, or when the user has to get help from a support representative.

Example

Tip: Recommended: Sorry, the service is temporarily available.

See also please.

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spam spam

Don’t use as a verb.

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spin box spin box

OK to use in developer documentation and for a technical audience.

In general, emphasize on the task to be accomplished, rather than how the user should interact with the UI element. Refer to a spin box by its label. If you have to use a descriptor, use spin box or description box.

For more information, see Dropdown list, combo box, and spin box.

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smartphone smartphone

Don’t use. Instead, use phone, mobile, mobile device, and mobile phone.

See also mobile, mobile device, mobile phone, phone.

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SQL SQL

Initialism for Structured Query Language. Use uppercase.

It’s OK to use lowercase in developer documentation, such as commands.

For more information about spelling out abbreviations, see Abbreviations.

See also MySQL.

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SSH SSH

Initialism for Secure Shell. Use uppercase.

It’s OK to use lowercase in developer documentation, such as protocols or commands.

For more information about spelling out abbreviations, see Abbreviations.

Don’t use ssh or SSH as a verb.

Examples

Warning: Not recommended: SSHSSH Secure SHell - a protocol for securely connecting to a remote system in addition to or in place of a password. into your remote shell.


Tip: Recommended: Use ssh to connect to your remote shell.

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SSL SSL

Initialism for Secure Socket Layer. Use uppercase.

For more information about spelling out abbreviations, see Abbreviations.

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standalone standalone

It’s OK to use standalone as an adjective. Don’t use as a noun.

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start, restart start, restart

Don’t use start to describe selecting a program or app to open it. Instead, use open.

Use restart to describe closing and reopening a program or app or turning a device off and then immediately back on.

For more information, see Interaction verbs.

See also turn on, turn off, shut down, shutdown.

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status bar status bar

In general, emphasize on the task to be accomplished, rather than how the user should interact with the UI element. Refer to a status bar by its label. If you have to use a descriptor, use status bar.

For more information, see UI elements.

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stop, stop responding stop, stop responding

Don’t use stop to mean exit a program or application.

Use stop responding when a program encounters a problem and can’t close itself. Use close to describe the action a program takes to close itself when it has encountered a problem and can’t continue.

For more information, see Interaction verbs.

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storage, storage device storage, storage device

Don’t use storage to refer to available space on a disk. Instead, use storage space or disk space.

Use storage device instead of disk to refer generally to external drives such as hard drives, solid-state drives, flash storage, and other types of storage hardware.

See also memory.

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style sheet style sheet

Two words. Not stylesheet or style-sheet.

This is the official spelling, per the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

See also CSS.

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sub- sub-

In general, don’t hyphenate words beginning with sub- such as subsection, subheading, and subdirectory, unless sub- is followed by a proper noun or it is absolutely necessary to avoid confusion.

For more information, see Hyphens.

For word usage of specific terms, see The American Heritage Dictionary.

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subclass subclass

One word. Not sub class or sub-class.

Don’t use as a verb. Instead, use create a subclass or a similar contextual verb.

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subnet subnet

One word. Not sub net or sub-net.

Shortened abbreviation of subnetwork. Be consistent in using one or the other in a single document.

For more information about spelling out abbreviations, see Abbreviations.

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such as such as

It’s OK to use such as or like for comparisons or examples.

See also like.

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super- super-

In general, don’t hyphenate words beginning with super- such as supercomputer and supercritical, unless super- is followed by a proper noun or it is absolutely necessary to avoid confusion.

For more information, see Hyphens.

For word usage of specific terms, see The American Heritage Dictionary.

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surf surf

Avoid using surf to refer to the action of browsing.

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SVG SVG

Acronym for Scalable Vector Graphics. Use uppercase.

Don’t use a filename extension to refer to a type of file. For example, use SVG file rather than .svg file.

For more information, see Referring to file types.

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SVN SVN

Shortened abbreviation for Subversion. Use uppercase.

It’s OK to use lowercase in developer documentation, such as commands.

For more information about spelling out abbreviations, see Abbreviations.

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swipe swipe

When the environment is presumably a touch surface or device, use swipe to describe a short, quick movement in the direction opposite to the way the page scrolls. Include the direction of the swipe—up, down, left, or right—if it’s needed to describe the action.

See also flick.

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switch switch

As a verb, use instead of activate or toggle.

OK to use as a noun as in toggle button.

For more information, see Toggle button.

See also toggle.

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symbol symbol

Don’t use symbol when you mean button or icon. A user can interact with a button or icon but cannot interact with a symbol.

It’s OK to use symbol to refer to text characters, as in the percent symbol (%). Don’t use symbol when you mean character, letter, or digit.

Use sign, not symbol, in the following terms: division sign, equal sign, greater-than sign, less-than sign, minus sign, multiplication sign, number sign, and plus sign.

When referring to a sign or symbol, introduce its spelled-out version and then the sign or symbol in parentheses. It’s acceptable to use a symbol by itself in UI, tables, or headings where space is limited.

For more information, see Parentheses and UI elements.

Write out the plurals of symbols, showing the use in parentheses. Don’t add s or ‘s to a symbol.

Examples

Warning: Not recommended: Enter two backslashes (\s) in the terminal.


Warning: Not recommended: Enter two backslashes (\’s) in the terminal.


Tip: Recommended: Enter two backslashes (\) in the terminal.

See also button, icon.

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sync sync

Shortened term for synchronize. Not synch, synching, or synched.

OK to use as a noun or an adjective.

Use sync with not sync from or sync to.

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Syndication Syndication

See RSS.

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system system

Don’t use to refer to a computer by itself.

Examples

Warning: Not recommended: Turn on your system.


Tip: Recommended: Turn on your computer.

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