A numbered list shows the order in which actions should occur, when events will take place, or order of importance:
- Introduce the list with a lead-in sentence, fragment, heading, or question. Use a question mark if it’s a question.
- Begin each numbered item with an initial capital letter (unless you’re using the list items to complete the sentence).
- Don’t use “and”, “or”, or “and/or” at the beginning of any list item.
- Use parallel construction for your list items. If one item starts with a verb, every item should start with a verb.
- Make sure each step includes only one action or two closely related actions (like “go to the menu and select Apps”). That helps us keep the steps simple.
- Write all items in the same voice (usually active) and tense (usually present). Fragments are fine, but if one item is a complete sentence, try to write them all that way. Or turn that odd sentence into a fragment.
- Use a period at the end of each list item if it’s a complete sentence, and keep punctuation consistent. Don’t use commas or semicolons at the end of list items.
A bulleted list shows users content that is focused, well organized, and easy to scan.
- Keep bullet lists and bulleted items short and succinct, with no more than 5 items on the list. (Some help articles can list as many as 10 items, but that’s unusual.)
- Avoid having more than one bulleted list on a screen.
- Begin bulleted items with an initial capital letter.
- End a bulleted item with a period if it’s a sentence. If it’s a question, end with a question mark.
- Use parallel construction for your bullet list items. If one item starts with a verb, every item should start with a verb.