The digital Style Manual is Live

It’s official. Today Style Manual graduates from public Beta to Live.

Person at a desk looking at the Style Manual webpage on a laptop.
Caption: The digital Style Manual is now the definitive guide for Australian Government content.

Going Live with Style Manual is a huge milestone for all Australian Government writers and editors. We’re so proud to be making history in delivering the first digital edition.

Our cross-agency Governance Board has endorsed the Live release. It has resolved that the digital Style Manual supersedes both the sixth edition of the Style Manual and the Content Guide.

Clear and consistent content for all users

Content is integral to all government services and information. People also expect it to reflect their needs, not government structures. 

We’ve developed Style Manual to help make sure all government content meets the same standard. No matter where a user lands in the gov.au domain, they should expect to find content that’s:

  • easy to understand and navigate
  • structured to meet their needs
  • inclusive
  • accessible.

Style Manual is the Australian Government standard for all writing and editing and has a 54-year history.

Style Manual is for everyone who creates and approves government content. Style Manual shows how to make all government writing and editing clear and consistent. It advocates plain language and inclusive language. It will help make all government content trustworthy and easy to understand.

Evidence based and shaped by users

The DTA and our content partner, Ethos CRS, co-authored the digital Style Manual. It reflects our combined expertise in:

  • editing
  • content design
  • writing
  • user research
  • interaction design
  • agile delivery
  • community engagement.

We base all rules and guidance on evidence and user needs. A cross-agency Working Group reviewed all content before release to private Beta.

We’ve also done extensive content testing and usability research. We'll continue to rely on user research and evidence to keep improving Style Manual in Live.

Credible and readable

During public Beta the entire manual was proofread and updated. Experts in writing and editing have been invaluable in delivering our Live product.

We’re also taking on board the findings of 4 expert, external reviewers. We have prioritised improvements, and you’ll see these in future releases.

We’ve also had a huge response from Style Manual users. We’re working our way through more than 1,400 feedback emails.

But the great news is, we’ve delivered a high-quality product. Most feedback has been resoundingly positive.

Use the Style Manual

A consistent feature in Style Manual is the structure of the rules, guidance and examples. First-time style users and experienced editors said they found the structure to be practical. They were able to open Style Manual on their screens alongside their work and check style on the go.

We’ve also added prompts about accessibility and other requirements on relevant pages. This is another way to provide practical information as and when users need it. 

Bookmark and tap into Style Manual to create government content that’s consistent and accessible for everyone.