Symbols, with the following exceptions, are not used in text. (updated 9.18.19)
This will be several dollars cheaper.
Do you have 35 cents?
The interest rate is 12 percent.
It rests at a 45-degree angle.

Quilting how-to content.

The percent symbol can be used in digital content and in print food ingredients lists and method
[e.g., 50%-less-sodium beef broth, microwave on 50% power (medium)]. (updated 9.18.19)

Product numbers and paintbrush sizes: Use the # symbol.
The hutch (#B4617) is only available online.
Use a #2 liner brush to finish the treatment.

Specific dollar amounts.
The cost is $20.

Temperatures: Use the degree symbol (option-shift-8) and the abbreviation for Fahrenheit (with no space between). For temperatures below 0°F, use a minus sign (hyphen), not an en dash.
The plant is hardy to at least 10°F.
The plant is hardy to at least -5°F.

Symbols are acceptable for tables, charts, and notations on drawings, but use them consistently throughout.
" (inch, inches)
' (foot, feet)
° (degree, degrees)
% (percent)
$ (dollar, dollars)
¢ (cent, cents—except with decimals)

Use Dimension X in all measurements. (Select text, then navigate to Window/Automation/Scripts and select “Convert Characters.” If this script is not installed on your computer, see a staff copy editor.)
Use a 2×4 for the project.

Use symbols, such as ampersands, in company names that use them. Leave space around an ampersand separating words, but not around one separating initials.
It’s manufactured by Smith & Co.
It’s manufactured by B&R Designs.

Abbreviate number (No.) in text material when it precedes a figure.
Use a skein of No. 6 yarn for the project. (not #6)



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Credits: Writers

Emily Anderson (formerly Cook)
Sara Anderson
Barbara Blossom Ashmun
Linda Askey
Debra Lee Baldwin
Amber Dawn Barz
Carrie Bebris
Jennifer Berno DeCleene
Lori Blachford
Mara Boo
David Bradley
Susan Breen
Jessica Brinkert Holtam
Randy Brown
Virginia Campbell
Kim Catanzarite
Maria V. Charbonneaux (formerly Schwamman)
Jill Connors
Gina Covina
Chris Curless
Glenn R. DiNella
Tere Stouffer Drenth
Linnea Due
Beth Dunlop
Kathy Roth Eastman
Sarah Egge
Allison Engel
Sally Finder
Amy Flurry
Kate Carter Frederick
Judith Stern Friedman
Jody Garlock
Krissy Gasbarre
Debra Solberg Gibson
Yvette Gonzales
Wendy Gray
Bob Gulla
Sarah Wolf Halverson (updated 8/14/19)
Catherine Hamrick
Amanda Harling
Jodi Harris (formerly Mensing) (confirmed 1/12/18)
Carolyn Harrison
Andria Hayday
George Hendrix
Miranda Hitti
Christine Hofmann-Bourque
Virginia Houston
Shannon Howard
Megan Hughes (updated 6/20/17)
Kimberly Isburg (formerly Voster)
Todd Keith
Jo Kellum
Jim Kemp
Kristine Kennedy
Roseann Meehan Kermes
Heidi Tyline King
Susan Kleinman
Kathie Kull
Meredith Ladik
Bill LaHay
Amy Leibrock
Michelle Leise
Fani Lemken
Melissa Manning
Candace Ord Manroe
Julie A. Martens
Jennifer Block Martin
Laura C. Martin
Lisa Martin
Sarah Maxwell
Meleah Maynard
Irene McCormick
Linzee Kull McCray
Jill Abeloe Mead
Nancy Richman Milligan
Kimber Mitchell
Linda Montet
Wini Moranville
Renee Freemon Mulvihill
Rhoda J. Murphy
Jean Schissel Norman
Sharon L. Novotne
Jennifer Komar Olivarez
Penelope O’Sullivan
Heidi Palkovic
Cynthia Pearson
Barbara Pleasant
Pamela Porter
Patricia Prijatel
Debra Prinzing
Louise Ritchhart
Kelly Roberson
Marty Ross
Nancy A. Ruhling
Katie Rynard (formerly Stuhler)
Kay Sanders
Donna Sapolin
Elizabeth Grace Saunders
Rebecca Sawyer-Fay
Lynne Meredith Schreiber
Jilann Severson
Michelle Tibodeau Sillman
Molly Reid Sinnett
Steve Slack
Pat Sloan
Linda Joan Smith
Madaline Sparks
Heather Starr
Nan Sterman
Shelley Stewart
Berit Thorkelson
Jessica Tolliver
Kim Waller
Jan Soults Walker
Michael Walsh
Dan Weeks
Karen Weir-Jimerson
Judy West
Claire Whitcomb
Ann Whitman
Jennifer Wilson
Sarah Wolf (See Sarah Wolf Halverson)
Joanne Wolfe
Shaila Wunderlich (formerly Williams)
Kaelin Zawilinski (formerly Tripp)


Copy editors
Field editors
Food stylists


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Trademarks: Common

In general, avoid using brand names. Instead, choose a more detailed but generic description. (Product stories are an obvious exception.)
incorrect: The IKEA sofa creates a lively focal point.
correct: A bright, contemporary sofa creates a lively focal point.

Be aware that some names that have made their way into the vernacular are actually trademarked brand names that usually should be avoided. Con-Tact paper, Crock-Pot, Jacuzzi, Lycra, Plexiglas, Sheetrock, Spackle, Styrofoam, Thermos, and Velcro are just a few. If you do use a trademarked name, be sure you’re using it correctly. It’s just as bad to call a generic product “Plexiglas” as it is to call the name brand “plexiglass.” Also, use trademark symbols (™ and ®) only with Meredith products.

Following is a list of common trademarks with the appropriate generic terminology. For a more complete list, search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database.

Anaglypta embossed decorative wall covering
Baggies plastic bags
Band-Aid adhesive bandages
Bel Paese cheese
Bundt pan fluted cake/tube pan
Carborundum abrasive
Chalk Paint paint with a matte, almost chalky, finish
Con-Tact self-sticking covering
Corian solid-surfacing
Corning Ware cookware, ovenware
Cran- cranberry
Crescent wrench adjustable-end wrench
Crock-Pot slow cooker
Cuisinart food processor
Cyclone fence chain-link fence
Dacron polyester fiber/fiberfill
Day-Glo fluorescent
Derby-Pie chocolate-nut pie
Dry Ice refrigerant
Feather Rock lightweight or porous rock
Fiberglas fiberglass/glass fibers
Fiestaware use for Fiesta products made by Homer Laughlin China Co.
Filo phyllo/pastry dough
Flex-arm lamp swing-arm lamp
Formica plastic laminate
Gunite pneumatically applied concrete
Herculon olefin fiber
Hershey’s Kisses Kisses milk chocolates (see Word List)
Hide-A-Bed sofa bed
Hot Tray electric warming tray
Instant Pot multifunction electric pressure cooker
Jacuzzi whirlpool bath
Jell-O gelatin
Jenn-Air self-venting range
Kiddie Kar toy car
Kitty Litter cat box filler
Kool-Aid soft-drink mix
Laundromat coin laundry/self-service laundry
Legos plastic construction toys
Lincrusta decorative wall coverings
Liquid Nails building materials adhesive
Louver drapery vertical blinds
Lucite acrylic resin/acrylic plastic
Lycra spandex fiber
Mace liquid tear gas
Masa Harina tortilla flour
Masonite hardboard/fiberboard
Molly bolt expansion bolt/hollow wall anchor
Mylar clear polyester film
Naval Jelly petroleum jelly
Oasis floral foam (updated 2/6/17)
Peg-Board perforated board/pegboard
Pellon fusible webbing
Ping-Pong table tennis
Plastic Wood wood filler
Play-Doh modeling clay
Plexiglas acrylic plastic/plexiglass
Poly-Fil synthetic fiber
Polyweb fusible webbing
Popsicle frozen dessert/pop stick
Procion fabric dye
Pyrex heat-resistant glassware
Q-Tips cotton swabs
Realtor real estate agent (unless member)
Roquefort blue cheese
Saran Wrap plastic film
Scotchgard protective spray coating
Sheetrock drywall/wallboard/plasterboard
Shabby Chic timeworn elegance/timeworn chic
Simoniz polish/wax
Sonontubes concrete form tubes
Spackle surfacing compound
Spode sponge ware
Stetson high-brimmed hat
Stitch Witchery fusible webbing
Styrofoam foam
Tabasco sauce hot pepper sauce
Teflon fluorocarbon resins/nonstick coating
Thermopane insulated glass
Thermos thermal container
Tinkertoy construction toy
Ultrasuede imitation suede
Vaseline petroleum jelly
Velcro touch fastener/hook-and-loop tape
Vise-Grip locking plier-wrench
Waferwood waferboard
Walkman portable radio/stereo and headphones
Weed Eater grass and weed trimmer
Weight Watchers diet foods
Woodtape decorative wood strips
X-acto crafts knife
Xerox photocopy
Yellow Pages no longer a trademark, but often capitalized
Ziploc resealable plastic storage bags, ziplock plastic bags


Common trademarks
Meredith trademarks

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Generally, a possessive is formed by adding an apostrophe and an s to a word that does not end in s, and only an apostrophe to a word that does end in s.

Singular Plural
Brooks Brookses
child children
lunch lunches
sheep sheep
Sussex Sussexes
lady ladies
man men
passerby passersby
Singular Possessive Plural Possessive
Brooks’ Brookses’
child’s children’s
lunch’s lunches’
sheep’s sheep’s
Sussex’s Sussexes’
lady’s ladies’
man’s men’s
passerby’s passersby’s

Add an apostrophe to a word that ends in an s sound.
for old times’ sake
for conscience’ sake
for appearance’ sake

Add an apostrophe and an s to a foreign name ending in a silent sibilant.
Descartes’s invention
Des Moines’s schools
faux pas’s

Add an apostrophe and an s to the last word of a singular compound noun.
the Governor of Maine’s
the attorney general’s

Use an of phrase to show possession when both a plural and a possessive are involved in a compound noun.
RIGHT: the decisions of the attorneys general
WRONG: the attorneys general’s decisions

Indicate common possession by making only the last item in a series possessive.
Teddy, Peggy, and Nancy’s home

Indicate individual possession by making each item in a series possessive.
Teddy’s, Peggy’s, and Nancy’s homes

The following possessives should be written as singular per Web. 11. (updated 11/21/14)
baker’s yeast
printer’s ink
writer’s cramp

The following possessive should be written as plural per Web. 11. (updated 11/21/14)
confectioners’ sugar

Consider that in some cases words are not possessive but rather descriptive. In those cases, no apostrophes are needed. See descriptive words for more detail. (added 12/3/14)


Descriptive words

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Use italic type to set off titles, foreign words, unvoiced thoughts, and words used as words.
My favorite book is She Wanted to Read.
Schadenfruede means feeling enjoyment from the misfortune of others.
The word purple sounds funny.

Avoid using italics for emphasis because it is as likely to confuse the issue as to clarify it. (All-capital type isn’t a great option for emphasis either. It’s difficult to read and, in the age of e-mail, widely construed as yelling.)

When you want to stress certain words, look for ways to do it with punctuation or sentence structure. Emphasis naturally falls near the beginning and end of a sentence or after strong punctuation marks such as colons and dashes.

Remember, you have to live with your decision.
Remember, YOU have to live with your decision.
Remember who has to live with your decision—you do.
Remember: You have to live with your decision.
You have to live with your decision, remember.

BH&G Plant Name Style

Common names

Most stories don’t need to include a botanical name. Just use the common name and add the cultivar if we have it.

  • ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum
  • ‘Little Spire’ Russian sage

Some plants have the same name for common and botanical uses; all these should be lc Roman.

  • aloe
  • heuchera
  • coleus
  • lisianthus
  • hosta

Botanical names

When needed in a story about plantings or a more technical story, we can give both botanical and common names. This will be needed only when mentioning a special, unusual plant.

  • Holywood (Guaiacum santum)
  • Christmas heliconia (Heliconia angusta)

The genus and species names may be followed by:

Subspecies: a naturally occurring, distinct variant of a species, indicated by subsp. in roman type. This is a higher division than “variety.”

  • Prunus lusitanica subsp. azorica

Varieties and forms: minor subdivisions of a species, differing slightly in their botanical structure. Indicated by var. and f. in roman type.

  • The pink variety of the Pacific dogwood is Cornus florida var. rubra.

Hybrids (or crosses): naturally or artificially produced offspring of genetically distinct parent plants. Use a Dimension X to indicate hybrids.

  • Viola x wittrockiana

Cultivars: selected or artificially raised, distinct variants of species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and hybrids. Cultivars will not come true from seed, so are usually propagated asexually by cloning. Denoted by single quotes, capped, no ital. If punctuation follows the cultivar name, the punctuation is placed outside the single quotation mark:

  • Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’
  • Echinops bannaticus ‘Albus’

Also, it is possible to have a cultivar of a variety:

  • Berberis thunbergia var. atropurpurea ‘Chenault’

Mix, Series, Strain: Multiples of a single cultivar. Put in single quotes as we do cultivars.

Trademarked plants

Put in single quotes as we do cultivars.

  • ‘Black Nebula’ carrots Stay dark even after cooking. ‘Silver Queen’ okra An heirloom variety from long ago.
  • With so many varieties of tomatoes to choose from, it’s hard to pick one. For hybrid varieties, grow ‘Better Boy’, ‘Big Beef’, ‘Pink Girl’, and ‘Celebrity’.

Credits: Photographers

To credit a company, say “Photo courtesy of”

Photographer credits: style.

Adam Albright
Tatjana Alvegård/Alvegaard
Craig Anderson
Thomas Arledge
Povy Kendal Atchison
King Au
Quentin Bacon
Robert Bailey
Marty Baldwin (on staff)
Andre Baranowski (removed accent from Andre 2/4/16)
Pamela Barkentin Blackburn
Edmund Barr
Gordon Beall
Matthew Benson
John Bessler
Laurie Black
Jeff Blanton
Christiaan Blok
Ernest Braun
Fran Brennan
David W. Brown
Graham Brown
Robert Brown
Steve Budman
Troy Campbell
Rob Cardillo
David Cavagnaro
Ross Chapple
Langdon Clay
Karla Conrad
Kim Cornelison
Grey Crawford
Stephen Cridland
Adam Crocker
J. Curtis
Cheryl Dalton
deGennaro Associates
Laurie Dickson
Mike Dieter
Erica George Dines
Jason Donnelly (on staff)
Carson Downing (on staff) (added 12/13/16)
Andrew Drake
Colleen Duffley
Craig Dugan, Hedrich-Blessing
Rowland Egerton
Patrick Farrell: credit should be Thuss + Farrell
Clint Farlinger
Richard Felber
Tim Fields
Emily J. Followill
John Reed Forsman
D. Randolph Foulds
Jacob Fox (on staff)
Kathryn Gamble
Michael Garland
Bill Geddes
Getty: Getty bought iStock. So all Getty and/or iStock images need to say: Getty Images. e.g., Nottomanv1/iStock by Getty Images (updated 1/29/18)
Joshua Savage Gibson
Susan Gilmore
Laurey Glenn (no middle initial W. per Holly)
Tria Giovan
Ed Gohlich
Susan Goldman
Leo Gong
Jay Graham
John Granen
Robert Grant
Karlis Grants
Sam Gray
Bob Greenspan
Jamie Hadley
Steve Hall, Hedrich-Blessing
Linda Hanselman
Chris Hansen
Bob Harr, Hedrich-Blessing
Brian Harrison
Chipper Hatter
Pat Haverfield
Jim Hedrich, Hedrich-Blessing
Craig Dugan, Hedrich-Blessing
Steve Hall, Hedrich-Blessing
Bob Harr, Hedrich-Blessing
Jim Hedrich, Hedrich-Blessing
Scott McDonald, Hedrich-Blessing
Nick Merrick, Hedrich-Blessing
Jon Miller, Hedrich-Blessing
Bob Shimer, Hedrich-Blessing

Chip Henderson
Aimee Herring
Christopher Hirsheimer
Allan Holm
Bill Holt
Jerry Honeywell
Hopkins Associates (credit for Bill Hopkins)
Mike Howes
Roy Inman
Brent Isenberger
iStock by Getty Images (see Getty above)
Jon Jensen
Michael Jensen
Erik Johnson
Gene Johnson
Stephen Kent Johnson (added 8/24/16)
Jenifer Jordan
Dency Kane
John Kane
Lynn Karlin
Keller & Keller
Terri Ketcham
Muffy Kibbey
Susan Kinast
Bert Klassen
Caroline Kopp
Jim Krantz
Pete Krumhardt
David A. Land/Pat Bates & Associates (or David A. Land/Pat Bates)
Details: For main edit stories, it should read David A. Land in byline and Pat Bates & Associates in the gutter. For FOB stories, with the credit in the gutter, use David A. Land/Pat Bates. (updated 4/27/16 and 7/11/16)
Bob Lenz
Frances Litman
Chris A. Little
Scott Little
Mark Lohman
Hal Lott
Janet Loughrey
Sherry Lubic
David Lund
Andy Lyons
Allen Maertz
Charles Mann
Julie Maris/Semel
Dave Marlow
Kevin Marple
Barbara Elliott Martin
Ned Matura
Bob Mauer
Deborah Mazzoleni
David McDonald
Scott McDonald, Hedrich-Blessing
Jeff McNamara
Tom McWilliam
Michael Melman
Rob Melnychuk
Karen Melvin
Nick Merrick, Hedrich-Blessing
Janet Mesic-Mackie
Jon Miller, Hedrich-Blessing
Matthew Millman
William Minarich
Tommy Miyasaki
Blaine Moats (on staff)
Ira Montgomery
Mike Moreland
Gordon Morioka
Tim Murphy
Bill Nellans
Alise O’Brien
Michael Partenio
Brie Passano (on staff starting 2/5/18)
Rick Patrick
Jerry Pavia
Rett Peek
Dan Piassick
M. C. Pindar
Gene Pollux
Diane Pratt
Greg Premru
David Prince
Howard Lee Puckett
Emily Minton Redfield (no hyphen confirmed 1/5/18)
Eric Roth
Kate Roth
Susan Roth
Jeffrey A. Rycus
Cameron Sadeghpour
Eric Salmon
James Salomon
Mark Samu
Kathy Sanders
Jeff Sarpa
Greg Scheidemann
Dean Schoeppner
Julie Maris/Semel
Richard Sexton
Bob Shimer, Hedrich-Blessing
Casey Sills
Brad Simmons
Beth Singer
Michael Skott
Kevin Smith
Lark Smothermon
David Speer
Julie Sprott
William Stites
Marilyn Stouffer
Werner Straube
Perry Struse
Peter Symcox
Rick Taylor
Mark Thomas
Thuss + Farrell (credit for Patrick Farrell)
Andreas Trauttmansdorff
Mark Turner
Joan VanderSchuit
Thomas Veneklasen
Peter Vitale
Dominique Vorillon
Roger Wade
Jessie Walker
Peter Walters
Judith Watts
Wendell Webber
Virginia R. Weiler
Michael Weschler
Deborah Whitlaw-Llewellyn
Brian Whitney
Jay Wilde
Brie Williams
David Wilson
Greg Wilson
John Yanyshyn
James Yochum


Copy editors
Field editors
Food stylists


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World Wide Web

Website addresses

Ideally, website addresses should be kept entirely on one line. In practice, this is not always possible. If it is necessary to break a website address, do so before a form of punctuation, such as a hyphen or period, or after a slash (/). Do not add a hyphen at the end of the line. This should help readers avoid misreading the address.

In body copy, captions, and other running text, drop the “http://” or “www.” before a website address unless the site will not load without it. Put the address in a typeface opposite that of accompanying text (for instance, italic type within roman copy) so the reader comprehends it at a glance. If the website address is in parentheses, put the parens in the same typeface as the address.
For instructions, visit the Carpet and Rug Institute’s website at
Check out
EBay ( is a great source for hard-to-find items.
The Stencil Artisans League shares information about techniques at
Illustrations lead browsers through suggestions at

In display type (cover blurbs, folios, heds, etc.), opposite typeface is not necessary.

Capitalization in website addresses

Treat Meredith websites as brand names by capitalizing before an extension (such as .com or .net) as appropriate. In body copy, captions, and other running text, they should also be set off in an opposite typeface.

Non-Meredith websites should be all lowercase through the extension.

Web address information of Meredith websites following an extension (separated by a slash) is not case-sensitive; for readability, cap each word, including articles and prepositions, after the slash.

Web address information of non-Meredith websites following an extension (separated by a slash) may be case-sensitive and should be lowercase/capped as indicated by the owner of the site.

In display type and other graphic treatments, key letters of Meredith website names can be emphasized with a type treatment other than caps—weight, size, or color, for instance.

Sentence capitalization rules always apply: The first letter of a sentence is always capitalized, whether it’s the t in the, the m in Meredith, or the e in eBay.

Capitalize names of sections within a website.
Click on the Bath Estimator to price flooring and cabinets.
You can save your work using the Projects Folder feature.

For capitalization, punctuation, and type treatment of blog names and podcast names, see Titles of Works.


In redirects in home design, garden, and food titles, avoid punctuation at the end of a URL. (added 9.17.14)
incorrect: For all downloads, go to
correct: Go to for all downloads.


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Use versus With

Use use when you need the object to complete a task. Use with when you are doing something along with the person/thing.
Correct: Use a pencil to trace …/Using a pencil, trace …
Incorrect: With a pencil trace …
Correct: I went to the library with the copy editors.