Using Style Guides to Achieve Content Collaboration and Consistency

Style guides are serve an important role, establishing guidelines to improve communication, ensure consistency, and enforce best practices in composition, presentation, and language, and representing the specific needs of the business and its customers.

Most organizations adopt one of the major manuals of style (like the Chicago Manual of Style or the Microsoft Manual of Style) and develop an internal “house style” that further defines the voice, tone, and vocabulary.


We find style guides everywhere–in stand-alone documents, application templates, in stylesheets–and we find more when we move out of desktop publishing into automated publishing systems.


In this session, you’ll learn how style guides can help with collaboration and improve consistency. I’ll describe the different kinds of style guides, what each contains, and when you need them. We’ll talk about the different kinds of style guides and what each one covers. We’ll normalize some vocabulary so you will always know what someone else means.

What can the audience expect to learn?

Defining the levels and types of style guides, some basic tips for getting one started (for each kind), where to start, what to include, and some ideas for making them useful (and usable) by internal and external content developers

Meet the presenter

Liz Fraley, CEO of Single-Sourcing Solutions, is well known for her advocacy of defining requirements. She has founded two companies, sits on the boards of three non-profits, and is constantly coming up with new ways to share knowledge in the technical communications and content industries. She has worked in high-tech and government sectors, at companies of all different sizes (from startups to huge enterprises). She advocates approaches that directly improve organizational efficiency, productivity, and interoperability. If you ask her, she’ll say she’s happiest when those around her are successful. Her first book, “Arbortext 101: Best Practices for Configuring, Authoring, Styling, and Publishing with Arbortext,” is available on Amazon. She has several more planned.

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