Spelling and punctuation quick guide - Vic Gov digital guide

This page contains common errors and questions of spelling and punctuation.

Follow the Australian Government's GOV.AU Content Guide . It has useful guidance on:

Use the Macquarie Dictionary for spelling, hyphenation and capitalisation. 


Use sentence case in headings (a capital letter on the first word only, unless later words are proper nouns) but title case for legislation.

Avoid using ALL CAPS as it's bad for accessibility.

Lists (bullets)

No end punctuation on bullets that are fragments — not even the last item.

List items that are full sentences should have sentence punctuation.


Use numerals (NOT words) for numbers in text (most of the time).
Exceptions: don't use a numeral at the start of a sentence; first, second, third.
Examples: 19th century; one or two of them; 1.5 million; a quarter; 1,234,567. 

No space between a number and abbreviated units of measurement (eg 100km, 10cm)

Times: 2pm, 2:30pm, 12 noon, 12 midnight

No punctuation in dates; dates should be ordered day, month, year (eg Monday 1 January 2020)

Phone numbers: 03 9600 1234 (hyperlink using the code "tel:0396001234" with no spaces)


Single quotes (NOT double quotes)

Textual dashes: use a spaced em dash ( — ), HTML code is (NOT a hyphen)

Spaced ellipses ( ... )

Don't use ampersand in sentences unless part of an organisation's name. Limit their use in headings etc.


Check any spelling you are unsure of with the Macquarie Dictionary.  

Here are some commonly misspelled words/terms:


child care

decision-making (n & adj)





the state

statewide (adj)



time frame


whole-of-government (adj)

Reviewed 28 March 2019

Vic Gov digital guide

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