Periods

Periods with lists

Whether to end a list item with a period depends on several factors, including the kind of list that the item appears in.

For more information, see Lists.

Description lists

Don't put a period at the end of a term; that is, at end of an item in a <dt> element.

Do put a period at the end of a description; that is, at the end of an item in a <dd> element.

Bulleted lists

In general, use a period at the end of each item in a bulleted list. Exceptions: single-word items, items entirely in code font, items with no verbs.

For more information, see Capitalization and end punctuation on the Lists page.

Numbered lists

Use the same guidelines as for bulleted lists.

Periods with URLs

When a period immediately follows a URL or a file path, it can be hard to tell whether the period is part of the URL.

To indicate that the punctuating period isn't part of the URL, try one of the following techniques:

  • Whenever possible, avoid putting URLs in text.
  • Rewrite the sentence so that the URL isn't at the end of the sentence.
  • Put the URL on a separate line from the text, omitting the final period.

If the URL is a link, it generally looks different from the surrounding text. For example, in most browsers, link text is blue by default. This formatting helps distinguish the URL from the period.

Recommended:

We use your feedback to improve the Animals API, in accordance with Example Pet Store's Privacy Policy:

http://www.examplepetstore.com/privacy/

Not recommended:

We use your feedback to improve the Animals API, in accordance with Example Pet Store's Privacy Policy at http://www.examplepetstore.com/privacy/.

Periods with quotation marks

When a sentence ends with material inside quotation marks, place the period inside the quotation marks even if the period isn't part of the material inside the quotation marks.

If the material inside the quotation marks ends with a question mark or an exclamation point, don't use a period.

Recommended: ... you might say "Fixed typo."

Recommended: Children always ask "Why?"

For more information, see Quotation marks.

Periods with parentheses

If the last part of a sentence is contained inside parentheses, put the period after the closing parenthesis.

If the parentheses contain a complete sentence, put the period inside the parentheses.

Recommended: Your application could show a notification when a relevant file or folder has changed (even if that change occurs while your application isn't running).

Recommended: App Engine applications are easy to create, easy to maintain, and easy to scale. (With App Engine, there are no servers for you to maintain.)

For more information, see Parentheses.

Periods with headings

Don't end headings with periods.

For more information, see Headings.

Periods with numbers

Use a period to represent a decimal point.

For more information, see Numbers.

Periods with captions

In general, don't use periods with captions.

For more information, see Figures.

Periods with abbreviations

Put a period after a shortened word.

Don't put periods after the letters of an acronym or initialism.

For more information, see Abbreviations.