The openSUSE Design System uses cookies to help us learn more about how we can improve the design system.
Learn more about our cookie policy

Edit preferences

Conventions and rules

In order for our writing to feel as if it comes from a single entity it is necessary to follow a set of conventions and rules.


  • Use sentence case:

    Sentence case is the technique of capitalizing the first letter of the first word in the heading, button, or text element.

    Example: "This is a sentence case title"

  • Capitalize proper nouns:

    Proper nouns such as: London, Nuremberg, etc, should always be capitalized.

    Example: "Join our openSUSE workshop in our London offices."

  • Capitalize/uppercase products and teams names:

    Products names such as: SUMA, CaaSP, SLES, etc, should always be capitalized.

    Example: "Download Apache2 on the SUMA server."

Using commas

  • Use serial commas (also known as the Oxford comma):

    In a series of three or more items, use a comma before the final "and", or "or."

    Example: "In order to perform this action you will need your username, password, and email address."

  • Use commas to separate two independent clauses:

    When a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, so, or yet) separates two independent clauses, insert a comma after the first clause (before the conjunction) unless both clauses are very short.

    Example: "You can perform this action, but you will need to create the variable."

Using periods

  • Use periods to end most list items:

    Except for the term of a description list (dt), end all list items with a period.

    ▪ Protect workloads across globally distributed data centers.
    ▪ Use multi-tenancy to manage geo clusters per business needs.
    ▪ Achieve maximum protection for workloads.
    ▪ Comply with industrial regulations.

  • When a period immediately follows a URL (or a file path), it can be hard to tell whether the period is part of the URL.

    To indicate that the punctuating period isn't part of the URL, try one of the following techniques:

    • Whenever possible, avoid putting URLs in text.

      Example: For more information visit the helpdesk.

    • Rewrite the sentence so that the URL isn't at the end of the sentence.

      Example: Visit the helpdesk page for more information.

    • Put the URL on a separate line from the text, omitting the final period.

      Check the link below for more information:

  • Use a period to signal the end of a text element in normal body copy.

    In general, do not use punctuation at the end of a headline, button label, checkbox or radio button label, tooltip, or navigation element.

    Example: "This is a normal body copy using a period to signal the end of a text."

Using colons, dashes, and hyphens

  • Use a colon instead of a dash in a list:

    Use a description list or a colon to seperate the term and definitions in lists.

    Example using description list:

    Open Source
    Open to us means more than shared source code. It’s a philosophy and approach that informs everything we do.

    Example of definition without description list:
    "Step 1: Installation"

  • Use a dash to indicate a range of numbers.

    Don't add words such as "from", "to", "and", or "between".

    Example: "10-20 files."

  • Never place spaces around hyphens or dashes.

    Example: "up-to-date, user-friendly"