IT’S INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY! So, we’ve decided it’s only FITTING to provide you with some insight on how to make the most of a few font features in your online writing.
From the infamous caps lock to creating headings and subheadings, we’ve got you covered. And if you’re looking for some keyboard shortcuts to make life easier or some coding secrets for the uneducated coder (that really aren’t that secret), you’ve come to the right place.
INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY…THAT’S A THING
Twice a year, people around the globe celebrate this thing we call International Caps Lock Day. It all started back in 2000, when a computer programmer by the name of Derek Arnold decided to mock those who got a little carried away with the use of capital letters. Whether they just Capitalized Unnecessary Words or LEFT THEIR CAPS LOCK KEY ON all the TIME, Arnold felt this taboo needed to be addressed. Now, his efforts are celebrated twice a year: June 28 and October 22.
USING CAPS LOCK
The Caps Lock key is often misused in many forms of digital communication. Many people don’t realize that words in all caps indicate that the writer is yelling. There are, however, instances in which this feature should be used and is not interpreted as yelling or shouting.
- When It’s Okay
- For acronyms (e.g., CRNP, USA, FDA, NASA)
- For state abbreviations (e.g., PA, FL, IA)
- When emphasizing a word and bold or italics options aren’t available
- When shouting/yelling
- WHEN IT’S NOT OKAY
- For most abbreviations (e.g., abbr., Dr., etc.)
- In everyday conversation
- In emails (esp. professional/work related)
WHEN TO BE BOLD
The bold feature should be used when you want to stress or identify a specific word in your writing. It indicates that word is the most important aspect of your sentence or paragraph. Just remember, this feature should be used sparingly.
In addition, instead of using HTML code to indicate subheadings, some writers just bold their subheadings.
- Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl + B
- HTML Code: <strong>YOUR TEXT HERE</strong>
WHEN TO ITALICIZE
Italics are used even less in online writing. Italicized words are more common in fiction and nonfiction writings, such as novels and biographies. This particular feature lets readers get inside a character’s head rather than relying on dialogue and details to determine a character’s feelings and personality. When italicized words appear in dialogue, characters are particularly enunciating—or stressing—those words.
Some content writers prefer to use italics rather than bold when placing emphasis on keywords.
- Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl + I
- HTML Code: <em>YOUR TEXT HERE</em>
WHY TO AVOID UNDERLINING
Underlining was more common in the academic atmospheres decades ago. It was used as our bold and italics features are used today—to stress certain words. The use of underlining in website content (when not connected to a hyperlink) is extremely rare. Still, some writers use it to identify misspelled or foreign words.
- Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl + U
- HTML Code: <u>YOUR TEXT HERE</u>
THE DEAL WITH HEADINGS AND SUBHEADINGS
Headings and subheadings are ideal ways to capture the attention of search engines across the World Wide Web. They make your website more searchable and your content easier to read. Subheadings make information easier to locate in a timely fashion, as well.
These are the most commonly used HTML tags for headings and subheadings:
- Heading (or Title): <h1>HEADING</h1>
- <h2>Most common subheading following <h1> tag</h2>
- <h3>Subheading under <h2> tags</h3>
Although bold and italics features are often used interchangeably, they should both be used sparingly so as not to clutter your writing. And think twice before tapping that caps lock key—YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU’RE GOING TO OFFEND.
HAPPY CAPS LOCK DAY!