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.

Using numbers in text

Follow these guidelines when using numbers in text.

When you write about numbers that appear in a Splunk product UI, duplicate them exactly as the UI displays.

Using numerals

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  
Distance 4 feet  
Duration of time 2 minutes See Time.
Fractions 1/4 See Fractions.
Measurements 8 CPU, 1,045 MB See Measurements.
Numerical user input In the Number field, enter 5.  
Percentages 25%  
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.
Weight 40 lbs  

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

Hyphenating numbers

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:

Do this Don't do this
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
Part 1: Getting started
Part 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.

Last modified on 11 January, 2024
Caution callout boxes   Dates

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

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