10 Capitalization Rules for Technical Documents

Ever wondered if it’s ok to cap a letter in the middle of a document title? There are many golden rules in grammar and when to use capitals is one area where most of us trip up at some point. Last week, we looked at the most basic grammar mistakes you can make when using capitalization. I’ve had emails asking for more guidelines to use capitalization, so here are the examples.

10 Capitalization Guidelines

Use the following guidelines for capitalization in titles and headings:

  1. Capitalize all nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and pronouns.
  2. Capitalize the first and last words.
  3. Capitalize prepositions that are part of a verb phrase ("Writing Your First Business Plan").
  4. Capitalize the second word in compound words – if it is a noun or proper adjective OR the words have equal weight (e.g. Read/Write Access). Tip: Do not capitalize the second word if it is a participle modifying the first word.
  5. Capitalize interface terms that usually would not be capitalized. Follow the traditional use of keywords and special terms in programming languages.
  6. In table column headings, capitalize only the first word of each column heading.
  7. Do not capitalize articles (a, an, the) unless an article is the first word in the title.
  8. Do not capitalize coordinate conjunctions (and, but, for, or).
  9. Do not capitalize prepositions of four or fewer letters.
  10. Do not capitalize to in an infinitive phrase ("How to Watch TV When Sleeping").

I know there are more. What have I missed?