Style points that apply to all our projects

Guiding principles

  • User-friendliness.

  • Being faithful to the original.

  • Accurately capturing the content and structure, and not sweating the presentation.

What to include and exclude


  • Metadata – should be captured separately and reflected automatically on the coverpage:

    • Date of assent

    • Date of commencement

    • List of amendments

  • Signatures (do not include as an image)

  • Arrangement of Sections


  • Language of text signed, e.g. (English text signed by the Premier)

  • Preface, Long title, Preamble, including the word ACT before the Long title

  • Main content

  • Schedules


Our preferred style is Sentence case for all headings, which is more readable than all caps.

Sentence case capitalises the first word, any proper nouns and acronyms, and defined terms.

  • To capitalise means to uppercase the first letter:

    • namibiaNamibia

  • Proper nouns include country names and the names of certain bodies:

    • attorney generalAttorney General

  • Acronyms (or initialisms if you want to be that person) will often also be defined in the legislation:

    • '"ITU" means International Telecommunications Union;'

    • Members of the ituMembers of the ITU

  • But sometimes they'll just be assumed:

    • The sabcThe SABC

  • Defined terms are defined in the definitions section of the current work:

    • '"Board" means the Board of Commissioners established under section 5 of this Act;'

    • Members of the boardMembers of the Board

If a term is consistently used in the upper case in a work, it should be used in the upper case in headings, even if it isn't explicitly defined.

pageFixing all-caps headings

Marking up headings with or without keywords

If a document is divided by headings for which a keyword exists, such as CHAPTER/PART, please use SUBPART for any further headings which do not have a keyword.

If a document is divided by headings for which a keyword does not exist, please use DIVISION and SUBDIVISION for those headings.


In general, we don't mark up bold, italics, or underlined text purely for emphasis.

Words or phrases that should be bold because they are headings or defined terms should rather be marked up as headings or defined terms.

But some terms are italicised, depending on the jurisdiction: see Working with italicised terms.

And sometimes other formatting should be applied, such as superscript or subscript: see Marking up formatting.


  • Only use italics for instructions, like (insert name here).

  • Use SUBPARTs for forms rather than crossheadings.

  • Use the special character for a checkbox (☐) where appropriate.

  • Use underscores (___) for fill-ins.

  • Keep the use of images to a bare minimum: only for logos, maps, etc.

  • Don't use an image for 'Official stamp' – rather use italics text.

  • Don't aim to replicate the formatting exactly as it is in the original; just make sure the text is all there and the meaning is clear.

Subsidiary legislation


Do keep the introductory text from the notice, but don't treat the Regulations as being in a Schedule.

So, even though the notice text says 'in the Schedule', we put the Regulations in the BODY of the document, and keep the introductory text as the PREFACE of the document. (Any schedules to the Regulations will be treated as Schedules.)



Other notices

Keep the body of the notice as the BODY, and the Schedule as a SCHEDULE.



Treaties and other documents with a Preamble

In the Preamble of a document, style the first word of each sentence (words highlighted in the image below) as it is in the source document. If such word it underlined, please remove the underlining and add italics to it.

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