[U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual]
[Title Page, Style Board, Extract from Title 44, U.S.C., About This Manual, GPO's Online Initiatives]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

U.S. Government Printing Office 

                            Style Manual 

An official guide to the form and style of Federal Government printing 

Production and Distribution Notes 

This publication was typeset electronically using Helvetica and Minion 
Pro typefaces. It was printed using vegetable oil-based ink on recycled 
paper containing 30% post consumer waste. 

The GPO Style Manual will be distributed to libraries in the Federal 
Depository Library Program. To find a depository library near you, 
please go to the Federal depository library directory at 

The electronic text of this publication is available for public use 
free of charge at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/stylemanual/index.html. 

Use of ISBN Prefix

This is the official U.S. Government edition of this publication and 
is herein identified to certify its authenticity. ISBN 978-0-16-081813
-4 is for U.S. Government Printing Office official editions only.  
The Superintendent of Documents of the U.S. Government Printing Office 
requests that any reprinted edition be labeled clearly as a copy of 
the authentic work, and that a new ISBN be assigned. 

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing 
Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; DC 
area (202) 512-1800 
Fax: (202) 512-2104 Mail: Stop IDCC, Washington, DC 

                      ISBN 978-0-16-081813-4  (CD) 




                                Robert C. Tapella 



                           M. Michael Abramson, Chairman 
                Ernest G. Baldwin               Kevin M. Lane 
                James T. Cameron                Barbara Day Prophet 
                Tony N. Gilbert                 Margaret V. Ross 
                Michele Y. Harris               Andrew M. Sherman 
                Yalanda Johnson                 Pamela S. Williams 


                                    Ex officio 

            Olivier A. Girod, Managing Director, Plant Operations 

            John W. Crawford, Production Manager, Plant Operations 

             Dannie E. Young, Superintendent, Pre-Press Division 

M. Michael Abramson         Terence D. Collins         Kenneth C. Puzey 
   Foreperson                   Foreperson                 Foreperson 

 Proof and Copy               Proof and Copy             Proof and Copy 
 Markup Section              Markup Section              Markup Section
    Shift 1                      Shift 2                     Shift 3 


                          JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING 

                    Representative Robert A. Brady, Chairman 

                    Senator Dianne Feinstein, Vice Chairman 

Representative Michael E. Capuano              Senator Daniel K. Inouye 
Representative Susan A. Davis                  Senator Patty Murray 
Representative Vernon J. Ehlers                Senator Robert F. Bennett 
Representative Kevin McCarthy                  Senator Saxby Chambliss 


Previous printings of the GPO Style Manual:  1894, 1898, 1900, 1903, 
1908, 1909, 1911, 1912, 1914, 1917, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1928, 
1929, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1945, 1953, 1959, 1962, 1967, 
1973, 1984, 2000 

                               EXTRACT  FROM  THE 

                              PUBLIC  PRINTING  LAW 

                               (TITLE 44, U.S.C.) 
Section 1105. Form and style of work for departments 

 The Public Printer shall determine the form and style in which the 
printing or binding ordered by a department is executed, and the 
material and the size of type used, having proper regard to economy, 
workmanship, and the purposes for which the work is needed. 
(Pub. L. 90-620, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1261.) 

                        Historical and Revision Notes 
Based on 44 U.S. Code, 1964 ed., Section 216 (Jan. 12, 1895, ch. 23, 
Section 51, 28 Stat. 608). 

About This Manual 

By act of Congress the Public Printer is authorized to determine the 
form and style of Government printing. The GPO Style Manual is the 
product of many years of public printing experience, and its rules are 
based on principles of good usage and custom in the printing trade. 
Editors and writers whose disciplines have taught them aspects of 
style different from rules followed in this Manual will appreciate the 
difficulty of establishing a single standard. The GPO Style Manual has 
served Federal printers since 1894, and with this 30th edition, the 
traditions of printing and graphic arts are carried forward in the 21st 

Essentially, the GPO Style Manual is a standardization device designed 
to achieve uniform word and type treatment, and it aims for economy of 
word use. Such rules as are laid down for the submission of copy to 
GPO point to the most economical manner for the preparation and 
typesetting of manuscript. Following such rules eliminates additional 
chargeable processing by GPO. 

It should be remembered that the GPO Style Manual is primarily a GPO 
printer's stylebook. Easy rules of grammar cannot be prescribed, for 
it is assumed that editors are versed in correct expression. Likewise, 
decisions on design and makeup are best determined by the individual 
publisher to meet the needs of the intended audience. As a printer's 
book, this Manual necessarily uses terms that are obvious to those 
skilled in the graphic arts. 

Users of the GPO Style Manual should consider it as a general guide. 
Its rules cannot be regarded as rigid, for the printed word assumes 
many shapes and variations in type presentation. An effort has been 
made to provide complete coverage of those elements that enter into 
the translation of manuscript into type. 

The GPO Style Board made significant revisions to update this edition 
of the GPO Style Manual. The changes include redesigning the format to 
make it more modern and easier to read; replacing ``What is GPO 
Access?'' with ``GPO's Online Initiatives''; removing the atomic 
weights column from the Chemical Symbols table; expanding and updating 
time zone abbreviations; listing additional entries to the Post Office
abbreviations; extensively reviewing the capitalization chapter to 
remove outdated entries and include new ones; realigning the 
abbreviations lists to create a new list of technical abbreviations and
initialisms; updating old and adding new tables to the Useful Tables 
chapter; expanding military titles; creating new sample pages for the 
Reports and Hearings chapter; providing many URLs as references; and 
including many suggestions by users. 

Comments and suggestions from users of the GPO Style Manual are 
invited. All such correspondence should be addressed as follows: 

                            GPO Style Board 

                             Mail Stop PDE 

                    U.S. Government Printing Office 

                      732 North Capitol Street, NW. 

                         Washington, DC  20401 

                      email address: [email protected] 

For the purposes of the GPO Style Manual, printed examples throughout 
are to be considered the same as the printed rules. 


The GPO Style Board would like to thank the following people for 
assistance in the production of this edition of the GPO Style Manual: 

Stanley P. Anderson, Editor, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service, National Soil Survey Center, Lincoln, 
Nebraska, for the new soil orders in the capitalization chapter. 

Molly N. Cameron, for technical advice on the Index. 

Robert W. Dahl, Cadastral Surveyor, U.S. Department of the Interior, 
Bureau of Land Management, Minerals & Realty Management Directorate, 
Division of Lands, Realty & Cadastral Survey (WO-350), for his 
contribution of the Principal Meridians and Base Lines of the 
United States tables. 

Cynthia L. Etkin, Program Planning Specialist, Library Services and 
Content Management, Government Printing Office, for her technical 
advice on the ANSI/NISO standards for publications. 

Robert R. Finch, Mark E. Rockwell, Michele L. Spiro, Operations 
Directorate, Document Automation and Production Service (DAPS), 
Defense Logistics Agency, for their contribution to the list of 
military ranks. 

Dean Gardei, Brand/Web Manager, Government Printing Office, for the 
design of the cover and title page. 

Jeremy Gelb, Pre-Press Specialist, Government Printing Office, for 
technical assistance in the production of this Manual. 

Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau, for supplying the cities list. 

Robert McArtor, past Chairman of the GPO Style Board and U.S. Board 
on Geographic Names, who acted as an adviser to the present GPO 
Style Board. 

Joanne Petrie, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, and Andrew Novick, National Institute of Standards 
and Technology, for their assistance with time zone abbreviations. 

Betty R. Smith, composition system operator, Government Printing 
Office, for technical assistance in the production of this Manual. 

Douglas E. Smith, Sr., Internal Printing Officer, Government Printing 
Office, for preproduction planning and administrative assistance. 

Janice Sterling, Director, Creative Services, and Marco Marchegiani, 
Graphic Designer, Government Printing Office, for development and 
production of the new design. 
Marcia Thompson, Director, Congressional Record Index Office, 
Government Printing Office, for revisions to the pages relating to 
the Congressional Record Index. 

Employees of the Proof and Copy Markup Section of the Government 
Printing Office, for their contributions during the production process. 

Current users who have contributed many ideas and suggestions that were 
incorporated into this edition of the GPO Style Manual. 

GPO's Online Initiatives 

Printing continues to serve an important purpose in the Federal 
Government. Congressional documents, official reports, pamphlets, 
books, regulations and statutes, passports, tax and census forms, 
statistical data, and more--in printed form these documents represent 
a major avenue of communication and information transaction between 
the Government and the public. In the 21st century, the Government 
Printing Office (GPO) is committed to providing printed information 
products for Congress, Federal agencies, and the courts as efficiently, 
creatively, and cost-effectively as the most modern technology will 

With the advent of the electronic information age, GPO has also 
assumed the responsibility for providing public access to the online 
versions of most of the official documents it prints, as well as--to 
the greatest extent possible--the online versions of Government 
publications that are not printed but are otherwise made available 
on other Federal Web sites. GPO recognizes that a Federal author 
today often begins the content creation process at a personal 
computer, and frequently publishes the final document on the Web, 
without creating a print version that will make its way to a user's 
hands or a library's shelves. Many Government publications are now 
born digital and published to the Web, with few if any copies 
printed for traditional public access via bookstores or libraries. 

To accommodate this transition in Federal publishing strategies 
while preserving the core responsibility for ensuring public access 
to Government publications, in 1993 Congress enacted Public Law 103-40, 
the Government Printing Office Electronic Information Access 
Enhancement Act, which required GPO to establish online access to 
key Government publications and provide a system of storage to 
ensure permanent public access to the information they contain. Since 
then, the number of publications featured by the resulting Web site, 
GPO Access, at www.gpoaccess.gov, has grown exponentially, as has its 
use by the public. A decade later the National Archives and Records 
Administration formally recognized GPO as an affi  liated archive for 
the digital content on the GPO Access site.

To meet continued public demand for online access to Government 
publications, provide for an increased range of search and retrieval 
options, and ensure the preservation of official Government 
information content in the 21st century, in 2004 GPO embarked on 
the construction of a more comprehensive online capability, called 
GPO's Federal Digital System, or FDsys. Scheduled to become available 
for public use in late 2008, the new system will serve as GPO's 
digital platform for the production, storage, and dissemination of 
official Government publications for the years to come. 

GPO Access 

Opened to the public in 1994, the GPO Access Web site was GPO's 
entrance into the digital age. GPO Access provides free electronic 
access to a wealth of important information products produced by 
the Federal Government. The information provided is the official 
published version, and information retrieved from GPO Access can 
be used without restriction unless specifi cally noted. This free 
service is funded through annual appropriations provided to GPO's 
Federal Depository Library Program. 

Under the GPO Access legislation, the Superintendent of Documents, 
under the direction of the Public Printer, is required to: 
(1) Maintain an electronic directory of Federal electronic information; 
(2) provide a system of online access to the Congressional Record, 
the Federal Register, and other appropriate publications as 
determined by the Superintendent of Documents; (3) operate an 
electronic storage facility for Federal electronic information; 
and (4) maintain the Federal Bulletin Board, which was then already 
in existence. 

GPO Access services 

GPO Access services are designed to meet the needs of a variety of 
users. GPO Access consists of content and links, including official, 
full-text information from the three branches of the Federal 
Government. Databases are updated based on their print equivalent and
generally date back to 1994. 

Users can find information on the Federal Depository Library Program, 
which provides no-fee public access to publications disseminated by 
GPO, regardless of format. GPO Access enables users to locate a 
depository library in their area. 

Users may also locate and order publications available for sale 
through GPO's Publication and Information Sales Program. Orders may 
be placed online securely through the U.S. Government Bookstore at 
http://bookstore.gpo. gov. 

Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government provides learning tools for K-12 
students, parents, and educators. The site provides age-specific 
explanations about how the Federal Government works, explains the 
use of the primary source materials available on GPO Access, and 
explains GPO's role in the Federal Government. 

Users needing assistance with GPO Access or other dissemination 
services may direct inquiries to the GPO Contact Center specialists 
available by email ([email protected]), telephone (1-866-512-1800), 
or fax (202-512-2104). 

Authentication of digital documents 

The increasing use of electronic documents poses a special challenge 
in verifying authenticity, because digital technology makes such 
documents easy to alter or copy in unauthorized or illegitimate ways. 

To help meet this challenge, GPO has implemented digital signatures 
on certain electronic documents in GPO Access that not only establish 
GPO as the trusted information disseminator, but also provide the 
assurance that an electronic document has not been altered since GPO 
disseminated it. 

In early 2008, GPO authenticated the first-ever online Federal budget 
by digital signature. The visible digital signatures on online PDF 
documents serve the same purpose as handwritten signatures or 
traditional wax seals on printed documents. The digital signature 
verifies document integrity and authenticity for online Federal 
documents, disseminated by GPO, at no cost to the customer. 

GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys) 

A critical part of GPO's mission of Keeping America Informed is 
ensuring permanent access to published Government documents.  
GPO is developing a comprehensive digital content system capable 
of managing all known Federal Government documents within the scope 
of GPO's Federal Depository Library Program and other information 
dissemination programs. GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys) is an 
integrated content management system which incorporates state-of-the-
art technology for document authentication and digital preservation. 
FDsys supports GPO's transformation from a print-based environment 
to a content-based environment, in which digital content is created, 
submitted, preserved, authenticated, managed, and delivered upon 
request. The design of FDsys is based on the Reference Model for an 
Open Archival Information System (OAIS) (ISO 14721:2003), which 
describes a generalized structure for storing, preserving, and 
providing access to digital content over time. 

FDsys will automate content life-cycle processes and make it easier 
to deliver digital content in formats suited to customers' needs. 
FDsys will allow Federal content creators to submit content for 
preservation, authentication, and delivery to users. Content entered 
into the system will be cataloged according to GPO and library 
standards, and will be available on the World Wide Web for searching 
and viewing, downloading and printing, as document masters for 
conventional and on-demand printing, or by other dissemination 
methods. Content may include text and associated graphics, video, 
audio, and other forms that emerge. 

FDsys capabilities will be deployed in a series of releases.  An 
internal proof-of-concept release of FDsys was completed in September 
2007 to support the last stage of testing.  FDsys is scheduled to 
become available to agencies and the public in early 2009, beginning 
a process of incremental releases. Each release will add 
functionality to the previous one. Th e first public release will 
provide FDsys core capabilities, including such foundational 
elements as system infrastructure and security, and a digital 
repository that conforms to the OAIS reference model and enables 
the management of content and metadata. This release will replace 
the familiar Wide Area Information Server (WAIS)-based GPO Access, 
in use since 1994, with enhanced search and retrieval functionality. 
For a comprehensive discussion of system capabilities by release, see 
the FDsys documentation at http://www.gpo.gov/projects/fdsys--documents.


The rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and related matters, 
as stated in this Manual, will serve well when preparing documents 
for electronic dissemination. Most of the documents currently available 
via GPO Access are derived from databases used in the printing of 
Government publications. However, as electronic dissemination of 
Government information continues to grow, the rules as stated in 
this Manual will continue to be the GPO's standard for all document 
preparation, electronic or otherwise.