S corporation

Capitalize as shown.

safeguard

Safeguard is one word.

sandbox

One word.

safe mode

Safe Mode

satisfaction guarantee

Don’t write “money-back guarantee.”

Save and Next; Save & Next

Capitalize as shown.

save time

Write “save time” about as often as you would use an exclamation point—not often. This phrase is almost completely devoid of meaning from overuse in marketing. It’s generic and can be applied to any other application. Be more specific and cut to the time-saving benefit.

scan

Don’t ask the user to scan, skim over, or any other variation of “read.”

Schedule C, Schedules C (if more than one; this format applies to all schedules); Sch. C (if space constraints)

Do not write “schedule C,” “Schedule Cs,” or “Schedule C’s.”

screen

Don’t use “screen” to refer to a container (usually a box) that overlays the user interface and presents info to the user or requests a response from them. Try to avoid referring to the container itself, but if you need to, use window instead.

screen name

Use “user ID” instead.

screenshot

One word.

scripting error

When we talk about errors, be straightforward. Use conversational language to put users at ease. Don’t be alarmist.

scroll

It’s OK to say “scroll down,” but in general, stay away from device-specific terms. Work with the designer to look for ways to use design to lead the user (instead of narrating the action).

SDK

This term is only for the developer site and experience. Use the acronym SDK in all instances.

section 179

Don’t capitalize as “Section 179” unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence.

select

Use “select” (instead of “choose”) when referring to an item that is clickable or that is a choice between two or more items. A drop-down list is a good example.

Do this:

Select a report from the Memorized reports and click Run.

Use “choose” when referring to a customer decision that isn’t UI-related.

Do this:

Choose whether you want to consult a bookkeeper or an accountant.
Choose the best partners for your business.

Don’t use “deselect.” Instead, use “clear” (unless you’re writing for QuickBooks for Mac). The term “deselect” causes a problem for localization.

self-employed

Wondering when to use self-employed vs. independent contractor vs. freelancer? You’re not alone.
An independent contractor is different from a freelancer, but they both fall under the umbrella of self-employed. While most Lyft drivers won’t necessarily refer to themselves as “independent contractors” (or any of the above, for that matter) we lean into “self-employed” as much as we can. When you’re talking about the product, write it as: QuickBooks Self-Employed. Otherwise, lowercase (unless you’re starting a sentence, in which case it is: Self-employed).

semiannual

Don’t hyphenate.

set up (v.), setup (n., adj.)

One word or two, depending on use, but never hyphenated.

Do this: After you set up your accounts, you’re ready to go.
Do this: Setup is complete. Restart your computer before continuing.

shake

If this is how the user is going to backtrack, undo, initiate, or redo an action, then it’s OK to use. But it should only operate as one of those actions within the brand.

shopping cart

Write as shown.

short-term, short term

Hyphenate this expression as an adjective. Set it as two words as a noun. Examples: Apply for your short-term loan. Your loan is available for a short term.

shortcut

One word.

shortcut menu

Use “shortcut menu,” not “right-click menu” or “pop-up menu.”

Do this: Right-click the Start button and choose Explore from the shortcut menu.

show, hide

Use “show” and “hide” to refer to something that is turned on and off by a UI element.

Do this: To show the Art Tools toolbar, choose View > Toolbars > Art Tools

Show more

Show me more, View more

shut down

Don’t use for exiting an application. Use “exit” for Windows applications, or “quit” for Macintosh applications. For computers, use “turn on” or “turn off.” For apps, use “sign out.”

sign in to

Use “sign in to” (“in” and “to” are separate words here), not “sign into.”

Do this: Sign in to your account to view your balances.
Don’t do this: Sign into your account to view your balances.

sign on

Don’t use. Use “Sign in” instead.

sign out (v.)

Be sure to pair up sign out with sign in. Don’t sign in and log out.

sign up (v.); sign-up (n.) (adj.)

When using the word as a noun or adjective, hyphenate. When using as a verb, it’s two words.

Use “sign up” when inviting a customer to start using an offering (so that includes button copy and CTAs). Use “create an account” as an alternative action on a sign-in page. See Single sign-in.

sign-in (adj.); sign in (v.)

Hyphenate “sign-in” when using it as an adjective: the sign-in page. Don’t hyphenate “sign in” when using it as a verb.

Write “sign in,” not “log in” or “log on.”

sign-in name

Don’t use. Use “user ID” instead.

Capitalize “User ID” only when you’re writing it as a field name. In the middle of a sentence, write “user ID.” Note that “user ID” is always two words, never “userID”.

Use “user ID,” not “username,” “user name.”

simple, simply

Try not to use these words. Simplicity is subjective. What’s simple for us might be complex for our users. And if something really is simple, it should be self-evident.

since vs. because

The primary definition of since has to do with time, although it’s used conversationally to mean cause and effect. “Because” is preferred for cause and effect because it’s unambiguous. Don’t use “since” when you mean “because.”

Do this: Online payments are faster because the money goes directly into your account.
Do this: Since I started using online payments, I get paid faster.
Don’t do this: Online payments are faster since the money goes directly into your account.

since (or that)

Don’t write “the fact that” or “due to the fact that.”

single, but Single if referencing filing status

Capitalize as shown.

single sign-in

Hyphenate “sign-in” in this instance. Our customers access our online products and services (both on the web and on mobile devices) through a single sign-in account, called an Intuit account. This makes it easier to manage multiple products and services seamlessly. It’s important that we describe and present sign-in access consistently across all our products and services.

Here’s how to think of this: Customers create an Intuit account to sign up for our online products and services. They sign in to their account with their user ID and password. We use the phrase user ID and password, instead of sign-in or login.

Use sentence case in button copy, and don’t use punctuation: “Sign in”

Sit tight

Don’t use “Sit tight” or “Hang tight.” “Hold tight” is OK.

SmartLook

Don’t write “Smartlook” or “smartlook.”

smartphone

One word.

snapshot

One word.

Social Insurance number/SIN

Capitalize as shown. OK to refer to it as SIN if there are space constraints, or if you’ve already spelled it out on the screen.

Social Security

Capitalize as shown.

Social Security number, SSN (if space constraints)

Spell out and capitalize as shown. Social Security Number, social security number. Don’t use SSN or Social.

Software as a Service; SaaS

Capitalize as shown.

Sole proprietorship

When a selection option is “Sole proprietorship” and the other options are “LLP,” “LLC,” “S Corp,” and “C Corp,” we lowercase the “p.” When in doubt, lowercase. The list should read: LLP, LLC, S corp, C corp, Sole proprietor.

sorry

Apologize only when we’ve failed to meet expectations or deliver on something we’ve promised. Don’t say “sorry” as filler or when you mean something different.

spam

Don’t write as “Spam” or “SPAM.”

spread (open)

Don’t use. Write “zoom” instead, if necessary. But designs should be responsive, so our users shouldn’t have to do a lot of pinching and zooming.

spouse

Only capitalize “Spouse” at the beginning of a sentence.

Square, Inc.; Square

Just “Square.” Capitalize as shown.

Standard Deduction

Capitalize as shown. Don’t write “standard deduction” or “Standard deduction.”

start

Don’t use “start” or “launch” when referring to programs or hardware. Instead, use “open” for programs and “turn on/off” for hardware.

Do this: When you click the P4 icon, Perforce opens.

start TurboTax

Customers start TurboTax. Don’t write “launch TurboTax.”

state taxing agency

Don’t write as “state taxing authority.”

stolen

Don’t use. Use “compromised” instead.

state, your state return

Don’t capitalize.

step 1

Don’t capitalize steps.

step-by-step instructions; We’ll walk you through it step by step.

Don’t write “step by step instructions” or “We’ll walk you through it step-by-step.”

sub-category

Hyphenate as shown.

sub-class

Hyphenate as shown.

sub-customer

Hyphenate as shown.

sub-department

Hyphenate as shown.

sub-item

Hyphenate as shown.

subaccount

A division of an account in a chart of accounts. Previously Sub Account (capitalized, two words). Now one word, not capitalized. Don’t write sub-account.

subcontractor

One word.

subjected

When troubleshooting, use “subjected” instead of words like “vulnerable” or “target.”

submit

Do not use. Digital products are littered with this word on buttons and other calls to action. Do we really want to beat our customers into submission? There are more human, conversational ways of guiding users to take action: Next, Complete, Send, Yes, Buy now, Add vendor, Add customer, Start my free trial, Start TurboTax, etc.

subtotaled, subtotaling

In the U.S., use only one L in versions of this word: subtotal, subtotaled, subtotaling.

SUI

Sign-up user interface. For Marketing only: Punctuate all headlines and subheadlines in marketing copy. That includes in the SUI.

sunset

Don’t use this term to mean phasing out a product. Instead, use “no longer supports” or “no longer available.”

Support

In help content, use “Support” to refer to the organization. Do not use “customer care.” If we’re instructing the customer to contact us, we’ll say contact us (and include the link to the contact page).

suspicious activity

Write as shown (lowercase). Don’t use “fraud” or “crime.”

swipe, swipe left, swipe right

The more we talk about the method of interacting (click, tap, swipe), the more specific that string is. Try to be device-agnostic, but not at the expense of clarity.

Use “swipe” to describe when the user needs to scroll content or navigate between views.

swiper

Do not use. Use “card reader.”

switch

Use “switch” instead of “toggle.”

sync

Use sync, synced, and syncing. Don’t use synch, synched, synching, or synchronize.

Sync Manager

Intuit Sync Manager is a brand name. Refer to it as Sync Manager. It shows in the Windows notification area when running QuickBooks for Windows.

system tray

Use “notification area” instead. (Per the Microsoft style guide, the system tray is now called the notification area.)