Coming soon: Microsoft Manual of Style, 4th Edition

The 4th edition of the Microsoft Manual of Style – essentially the English Style Guide for Microsoft products - has been released to manufacturing and will available in ebook versions (PDF, ePub, Mobi/Kindle) and hard copy in a few weeks. The new edition is a major update of the last edition from 2004.

It is designed to help communicate clearly, consistently, and accurately about technical topics. It is aimed at content creators, journalists, technical writers, editors, and everyone else who writes about computer technology. It also features a comprehensive glossary of both general technology terms and those specific to Microsoft as well as usage and style guidelines and guidance on grammar, tone, and voice.

Here are a few content examples from the sneak preview:

Guidance on writing for machine-translated content:

For machine-translated content, do not embed error message text that forms a completed sentence inside the sentence that makes a statement about the error message. Instead, structure the sentence so that the error message text is set off on a separate line or rewrite the sentence so that the error message text becomes a grammatical part of the sentence in which it is embedded.

For example, consider the following sentence:

If you receive a “There is no CD disc” in the drive message, insert a new CD disc in the drive and try again.

To make this sentence better for machine translation, restructure this sentence as follows:

If you receive the following message, insert a new CD disc in the drive and try again: “There is no CD disc in the drive.”

Descriptions of UI items:


Ribbon terminology explained:



Windows Phone user interface explained:

Comments (1)

  1. Sallie says:

    I bought the 4th edition a couple of weeks ago. I really like the updates, but was disappointed that it did not include a CD like the 3rd edition.

    I realize I can purchase a soft copy, but I already paid for the hard copy.

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