Italics for document titles

Subject: Italics for document titles
From: Celine Dion <dion -dot- cm -at- att -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2011 21:10:41 -0800

Hello all,
For over 5 years, we have represented the title of our user's guides as links (blue underlined roman
type). Because our users appear to be divided almost equally in their format preference (PDF vs
HTML), I proposed a style change that would enable users to pick their preferred format: <name of
guide> (_PDF_ | _HTML_). The title is in roman type; the outputs are blue underlined links. Some of
the other writers want to start using italics again for the title because it is no longer a link. I
polled a small number of users: (1) all zoom in first on the links, (2) most don't notice or want
italics, and (3) only a couple noticed or liked italics.
Do you still use italics to highlight document titles in text? What are your style guidelines when
the title is a link versus when it isn't? Now that most documents are used almost exclusively
online, have the former guidelines (italics) been replaced by or have evolved toward a different
standard? Are there good resources out there that describe how former styles have changed?
Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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