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Don't reinvent the wheel. Start out with an established style guide, then
address deviations, additions, and company-specific issues in a separate
I'd recommend Chicago personally, but you could use just about anything you
want, really. Sun, Wired, and Microsoft all have non-prescription,
over-the-counter style guides, for example.
As far as your approach, take it slowly. Address the issues you know need to
be addressed right away, and then address each issue as it comes up. Keep it
a manageable, accessible, living document. Give everyone a chance to provide
their input, and try not to get too carried away with it. (Before I get
flamed here, I'm speaking from experience.)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ann Howell [mailto:ahowell -at- POOLMAIL -dot- DOLPHINSOFTWARE -dot- COM]
> Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 1999 10:12 AM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: writing a corporate style guide from scratch
> A number of you seem to have experience writing corporate
> style guides. I have
> just started a new job at a relatively new company which
> doesn't yet have a
> style guide. Although the documentation dept. is small at
> this point (4 people,
> including the manager), I'm thinking that creating a style
> guide at this early
> stage would help ensure consistency down the road. We have a
> few manuals in
> progress and so far we've just been working off of a common
> template to ensure
> that the format is consistent. Does anyone have any tips on
> where to start?
> Ann Howell
> Dolphin Software Services, ULC.
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
> Find contractor info at http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/contractors.htm