Refer to The Canadian Press Stylebook and The Canadian Press Caps and Spelling for any instances not covered by this guide. Please send any suggestions and queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spell out acronyms the first time the phrase is mentioned with the acronym immediately following in brackets e.g. Crown Investments Corporation (CIC). After the first reference, use only the acronym. However, if the document is very large, spell out the acronym at the first mention in each major section.
Only use an acronym in the title if it’s a commonly used search term (like BC).
Use the apostrophe to denote possession: Bob’s constituency; Saskatchewan’s potash reserves.
Plurals such as the 1990s don’t require an apostrophe e.g. PCs (not PC’s) and FAQs (not FAQ’s).
Use regular brackets (parentheses) to indicate a separate thought or expression within a sentence. When nesting brackets within brackets, use a contrasting style, such as [ ].
For Saskatchewan.ca, capitalize:
- Trade names
- Government departments
- Agencies of national and provincial governments
- Names of associations
- Occupational titles when they refer to a specific individual (see full details at ‘Forms of Address’)
Don’t capitalize job titles when they are used in a general sense e.g. It’s important that nurse technicians are careful on the job.
Use caps for Aboriginal, Indigenous, First Nation(s), Métis, Inuit, Elders, Senators, and Chiefs. Use lower case for generic terms standing alone: the union, constituencies.
AVOID BLOCK CAPITALS; THIS INDICATES SHOUTING IN COMMON ONLINE USAGE. We are government. We shouldn’t be shouting.
When there are two items in a list, don't use a comma to separate the list items.
Where there are more than two items in a list, place commas after each item before the conjunction (usually and or or) — e.g. cars, trucks, and motorbikes. In longer and more complex series, you may wish to use a semicolon — e.g. Government of Saskatchewan maintains ongoing dialogue with a wide variety of key stakeholders, including: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment; Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources; and landowners.
Clarity trumps both conventions.
Use abbreviations for currency e.g. $100, not one hundred dollars.
Cutlines (photo or illustration captions)
When identifying individuals in a photo, use abbreviations and separate names with commas e.g. First place team (l to r): John Doe, Jane Doe, John Smith.
If there are two individuals in a photo, place the identifier (l) or (r) after the person's name e.g. Joe Smith (l), Senior Policy Adviser, Ministry of Health; Jane Smith, Health and Safety Audit Specialist, Ministry of Health.
A dash sets off mid-sentence lists or explanations. It can be used instead of commas, leaving a space in between the words and dashes e.g. Home Care — services to help people who need acute, palliative, and supportive care to remain independent at home — is a major initiative.
The use of the em dash is preferred. Dashes shouldn’t be confused with hyphens, which are used to break a word over two lines or to join two compound words.
For months used with a specific date, abbreviate the first three letters of the month followed by a period e.g. On Aug. 14.
Spell out all months when they stand alone or are used with a year alone (e.g. January was cold, or January 1998 was cold).
Use ‘to’ instead of a dash or slash in date ranges. ‘To’ is quicker to read than a dash, and it’s easier for screen readers e.g. 2010 to 2018.
Use ellipsis points to show the omission of words, phrases, or lines from quoted material. In general, treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and a regular space on either side of the ellipsis ( ... ).
FAQs are strongly discouraged on Saskatchewan.ca. In most cases, FAQs are NOT needed if your content:
- Is concise (FAQs often duplicate other content on the site);
- Is audience-focused (content needs to be where people expect to find it and in context);
- Answers your audience’s questions; and
- Helps them accomplish their tasks.
Capitalize geographic and widely recognized descriptive regions, as in the North, Far North, Northern Canada, Western Canada, Central Canada, Prairies, Western Hemisphere, the Pole, North Pole. See The Canadian Press Stylebook for exceptions and variations.
Capitalize titles, headings, and sub-headings as a proper title e.g. Becoming a Board Member; Health and Healthy Living; Emergency Assistance for Prescription Drugs.
Italic type is used sparingly. Provincial and federal legislation is cited in italics. When referring to provincial laws, include the article “the” in the title, as in The Active Families Benefit Act.
When citing a federal law, such as the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, don’t italicize “the.” Italicize words such as “A” or “The” only where they are part of the title.
Lists may be bulleted or numbered and introduced with a colon. They may start with capital letters and end with punctuation, or they may not. Please see the examples below to determine which format suits your list.
Example 1: Where the bullet points are part of the leading sentence, or where the list consists of phrases or sentences with internal punctuation, semicolons are used between the listed items. The second-to-last point includes the word “and” and the last point uses a period.
The Ministry of Environment ensures that vegetation will be managed in a manner that:
- Incorporates ecological principles;
- Considers community values;
- Uses herbicides responsibly; and
- Complies with relevant laws.
Example 2: Capitalization and punctuation can be eliminated in bullets with few words.
Students returning to school should bring basic supplies such as:
- 3-ring binder
- pencil case
Example 3: Periods can be used at the end of bullets if the content is longer and forms a complete sentence on its own.
Template Setup and Visual Standards
- When a new page is created, it is the ministry’s responsibility to tag the ministry for analytics purposes.
- Include meta data on all webpages.
- Change meta data titles in order for browser tabs to match page titles.
- Related items must contain a description.
- Choose the proper asset type for related items.
- Delete the related items folder if it is not being used.
- If there is no contact info, disable the contact information.
In general, spell out whole numbers below 10 and use figures for 10 and above. Use commas in larger numbers where appropriate, such as 2,400.
Use numerals with any measurement and for percentages. Numbers at the start of a sentence should be spelled out or the sentence rewritten
For telephone numbers, use hyphens to separate rather than spaces, periods, or brackets: 306-111-1111, 1-888-111-1111.
PDF files are meant to be used in order to share files with others who don’t have the same software.
|All files live in the Publication Centre
||Content for Saskatchewan.ca
|Forms or applications
|To be printed off, filled in, and mailed or faxed
||If content fits on fewer than two pages of a Microsoft Word document, it should be HTML
|Reports or booklets
|Manuals or guides
|Complicates tables or graphs
|Public notices or alerts
|Legislation, acts, or regulations
The following documents are not applicable for PDF or HTML, unless you can repurpose content for HTML
Offline (print) advertising
- Brochures or pamphlets
- Interactive slide presentations (Microsoft PowerPoint)
- Infographics – should be saved as images (JPEG or PNG)
- Videos – use GoS YouTube account
Captions or cutlines accompanying photos are normally written as sentences ending with a period. Explanatory notes provided after graphs or tables require a period. Place periods inside quotation marks.
Use quotation marks to enclose direct quotations. Double quotation marks are preferred over single quotation marks.
- Double quotation marks are used to indicate:
- A direct quote;
- A piece of slang; and
- When a word or phrase is used ironically.
- Single quotation marks are used to:
- Set off a quoted word within a direct quote; and
- Highlight key words within text that relate to online page titles or sub-sections within an online page.
- Punctuation and quotation marks
- A period or comma goes inside the closing quotation mark.
- A colon or semicolon goes outside the quotation mark.
- An exclamation point, question mark or dash goes inside if the mark belongs to the quoted material; outside if the mark is not part of the quotation.
Use a single space between sentences, after colons and semicolons, and before and after em dashes (—). Use a single space between a number and an acronym, such as 300 km.
Use the Canadian (not American) spelling of words as they appear in The Canadian Press Caps and Spelling or Oxford Canadian Dictionary. Examples include colour, favour, behaviour, humour, labour, metre.
Lowercase references to the time of day, as in a.m. and p.m. Write noon or midnight (not 12 noon or 12 midnight). Write 5 a.m. (not 5:00 a.m.). Write 10-11 a.m.