Any thoughts, standards, or good practices on typographical styles to set off UI text in a user manual?

For example, how to style the text of the label on a button in:
"Press the Submit button."

Or styling the text of labels and input values:
"Select Gluten Free from the dropdown menu. Then enter I also don't eat soy. in the Notes box."

To be clear -- I'm not asking about designing the UX. I'm asking about typographical styles in a document about the UX.

  • 1
    At the moment I can't find where I read this, but I seem to remember that Microsoft recommends that when referring to UI text in help, you should bold the text. No quotations, no underline, just bold. For an example, check the help in Microsoft Word (F1).
    – user53083
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 22:06

2 Answers 2


It is a little hard to give an answer to this without pending a little into the opinion factor. But well, what i usually do, and often see others doing as well, is using bold for stuff the user must FIND onscreen/somewhere, while using italics for emphasize and for prompt.

Using your example:

Select Gluten Free from the dropdown menu. Then enter "I also don't eat soy." in the Notes box.

bold being a look for prompt, and italic being an emphasis


Bold and italic are two levels of emphasis on text, you can use bold for things that you want more attention to be drawn at, and italic for stuff that will be noticed mid text, but will not draw much attention to it

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