Splunk® Style Guide

Splunk Style Guide

The guidelines in the Splunk Style Guide establish best practices for writing technical documentation. Search docs.splunk.com to find documentation related to Splunk products.

Write in indicative or imperative mood

The form that a verb takes tells a reader its mood or how to regard the sentence. The following major moods appear in American English writing: indicative, imperative, and subjunctive. In Splunk documentation, write with indicative or imperative mood, and avoid using the subjunctive mood.

Use indicative or imperative mood

The indicative mood states facts. The imperative mood expresses commands or requests. Use these moods when writing Splunk docs.

See the following examples:

  • You can send data to the indexer by using a forwarder.
  • Send data to the indexer by using a forwarder.
  • The forwarder sends data to the indexer.

Avoid subjunctive mood

The subjunctive mood expresses doubt and causes confusion over whether you're making a recommendation or stating a requirement. In general, don't write specific recommendations. See Recommendations.

Write clear instructions for Splunk customers and avoid the following subjunctive mood verbs:

  • Should
  • Would
  • Could

Review the following table for examples of sentences correctly using the indicative and imperative mood and their subjunctive mood counterparts:

Do this Don't do this
For security reasons, give only administrators access to this instance. For security reasons, only administrators should have access to this instance.
The example shows a type of script you can create for your deployment. The example shows a type of script you would create for your deployment.
Start by setting up a new stanza in the transforms.conf file. You could start by setting up a new stanza in transforms.conf.
Last modified on 12 January, 2024
Be active and present   Avoid anthropomorphisms

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Style Guide: current

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