Web writing style guide – Numbers and measurements

How to write and show numerals for a better user experience.


Numbers and measurements when written on the web follow different standards compared when writing numbers on print material.


  • Use figures for all monetary units.
  • Use 'to' instead of dashes to show number ranges.
  • Leave out decimals unless the number includes cents.
  • Use the country prefix for foreign currencies.

For example:

  • 5 cents, not $0.05
  • $75 not $75.00
  • $15,000 not $15000
  • $1 billion
  • US$200 to $400


  • Spell out months in full.
  • Format dates as month, day and year.
  • Do not add superscript when writing dates.

For example:

  • January 1, 2010 (not January 1st, 2010)

Date ranges

Date ranges take the form of either a single year or multiple years.

Single year range

Use the forward slash when dealing with a single school year. For example:

  • 2019/20 school year

Use a hyphen when dealing with a budgetary fiscal year. For example:

  • 2019-20 fiscal year

Multiple year range

When expressing a multi-year range, use 'to' in between the years. For example:

  • 2019 to 2026

Imperial vs. metric

List all measurements in metric unless imperial is required.

Measurements and weights

Abbreviate measurements and weights when using a number. For example:

  • 5 km
  • 6 cm
  • 10 kg
  • 8 km/h or 8 km per hour
  • 14 L
  • 5 mL

Spell out measurements when a number is not used. For example:

  • ‘How many kilometres between Calgary and Edmonton?’


Use numerals for all:

  • numbers except those that start sentences and the number ‘one’
  • monetary units

Do not use decimals unless cents are included. For example:

  • $500.85

Number ranges

When expressing a range, repeat million or billion. For example:

  • 25 million to 30 million


Use a percentage symbol '%' without a space instead of writing ‘per cent’:

  • 50% not 50 per cent


Use Celsius instead of Fahrenheit. If needed, insert Fahrenheit symbol in brackets after the Celsius measurement.

When writing the measurement, do not use spaces between the number, degree symbol, and the capital “C” or “F”. For example:

  • 37°C
  • -12°C
  • 24°C (75.2°F)


  • Use lowercase and no periods for am and pm.
  • Use figures for all time-of-day references.
  • Write out the full name of a time zone within brackets after the time figure. Adding the time zone is optional.

For example:

  • 10 am
  • 8 pm (Mountain time)
  • 5 hours
Previous Formatting