Principles of Microsoft style

The following sections highlight some of the principles of Microsoft style that help us achieve a consistent voice in our content.


Consistent terminology promotes learning technical concepts and a better understanding of them.

Inconsistency in terminology forces users and translators to figure out whether different words and actions mean the same thing, which leads to confusion. Using consistent terminology can also decrease translation and localization costs.

Examples of inconsistent terminology include the following:

  • switch, toggle

  • start, launch, boot

  • burn, copy

Consistent syntax helps set users’ expectations.

When users see the same type of information consistently expressed in the same syntactic structure, ...

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