Using numbers in text
Follow these guidelines when using numbers in text.
When you write about numbers that appear in a UI, duplicate them exactly as the UI displays.
In general, use numerals for numbers in text, even for numbers less than 10. This includes numbers associated with counts, dates, decimals, fractions, measurements, percentages, ranges, time, versions, weight, numbers with 4 or more digits, and other data for comparison or analysis.
Review the following table for examples of when to use numerals in text:
|Use numerals for||Example||For more information|
|Counts||2 forwarders, 3 unique values|
|Dates||April 22, 2019||See Dates.|
|Decimals||3.14||See Commas and decimals.|
|Dimensions||1280 x 1024|
|Duration of time||2 minutes||See Time.|
|Measurements||8 CPU, 1,045 MB||See Measurements.|
|Numerical user input||In the Number field, enter 5.|
|Phone numbers||+1-888-555-1212||See Phone numbers.|
|Pixels||450 px, 1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Ranges||50 to 60 GB||See Ranges.|
|Time of day||2:30 PM to 5 PM||See Time.|
|Versions||Splunk Enterprise 7.x||See Versions.|
Don't start a sentence with a numeral
Avoid starting a sentence with a numeral. Instead, rewrite the sentence so the number comes later in the sentence or is prefaced by a modifier. If you can't rewrite the sentence, spell out the number at the beginning of the sentence.
Review the following table for examples of sentences that have been rewritten to follow these guidelines:
|Original sentence||Rewritten sentence|
|4 peers are contained in this cluster.||This cluster contains 4 peers.|
|11 hosts have unusually high CPU usage.||Eleven hosts have unusually high CPU usage.|
When to spell out numbers
Numbers sometimes provide context or additional information without being the focus of the sentence. In such cases, spell out the number to emphasize what the number is describing rather than the number's numerical value.
Spell out ordinal numbers in text.
See the following examples:
- Four types of lookups
- One of the following ranges
- Twelfth line in the code
- Third-party software
Hyphenate both numerals and spelled-out numbers when they are part of a compound adjective. See the following examples:
- Two-factor authentication
- 128-bit number
Examples of number usage
Review the following table for examples of correctly using numerals and spelling out numbers in text:
|Correct usage||Incorrect usage|
|Zero downtime||0 downtime|
|Default value of 0||Default value of zero|
|Follow these steps to move an app from one instance to another.||Follow these steps to move an app from 1 instance to another.|
|There are two kinds of field extractions.||There are 2 kinds of field extractions.|
|1-, 2-, or 3-hour alerting intervals||One-, two-, or three-hour alerting intervals|
Numbers in headings
It's okay to use a number in any level of heading if the number is part of a name. See the following examples:
- SPL2 stats and charting functions
- Create a DSP connection to get data from Amazon S3
It's okay to use numbers in a heading to indicate steps or parts in a tutorial. Otherwise, don't use numbers in any level of heading to indicate a sequence or multiple tasks on a single page. If you want to show the order of tasks, use a supertask instead.
- Correct as H1s on separate pages in a tutorial
- Step 1: Getting started
- Step 2: Activate your pipeline
- Incorrect as H2s on a single page of a task
- 1. Register an app
- 2. Add permissions
For more information about naming your headings, see Name your topic or sections.
Caution callout boxes
This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Style Guide: current