Some typographical rules

October 2016

Punctuation: typographic rules to follow

full stop/period

The point is to mark the end of a sentence.

Concerning numbers between groups of three digits, don't put a full stop, but a non-breaking space:
Ex: 4 500 000.

General rule: no space before the fullstop and space after.


The comma indicates a short pause and serves to separate the parts of a sentence.
Don't place a comma between a subject and a verb.
Don't not place a comma before a bracket, parenthesis, hyphen, but after.
We usually place a comma before "etc.. .

General rule: no space before and space after.


The semicolon is usually placed between two independent proposals and indicates a link with the preceding sentence:

General rule: non-breaking space before the semicolon and space after the semicolon.


The colon announce a list or a quotation.
Before a quotation: they are followed by French quotes.

General rule: non-breaking space before and space after the colon. No capital after.

Question mark?

The question mark is placed at the end of an interrogative sentence.

General rule: non-breaking space before the question mark and space after.

Exclamation mark!

The exclamation point is placed at the end of exclamatory sentence or end of an interjection

General rule: non-breaking space before the exclamation mark and space after.

Ellipsis ...

The dots are always three in number, and mark a hesitation, a thought not expressed or are placed following a list too long.

General rule: no space before the dot and space after.

Brackets ()

Parentheses are used to isolate a sentence in a passage relating to a point, to detail or supporting a fact.

General rule: the space before and space after parentheses, but no space inside.

Dash --

The dash is used to mark the change of interlocutor in a dialogue, detail an observation within a sentence (it looks much better than the parentheses), or to submit a list.

General rule: non-breaking space after. If within a phrase, breaking space before, space after.

Asterisk *

This symbol indicates a reference to be developed end of the article.

General rule: no space between the asterisk and the word that precedes it, but after breaking space. (Example: Note * or: * This refers to our article ...)


It is often seen written: etc. ... It is a mistake. One point will be fine.

Other rules

Titles and subtitles
  • There is no punctuation in the titles and subtitles. The font change (bold or italic) is ample.
  • Try to increase the font size so there is no confusion about the meaning of the title.

Related :

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