Typographic Conventions

The following typographic conventions are common in many kinds of documentation, help pages, and manual pages.

  • Text that appears in italics must be replaced by whatever it is that it represents (i.e., it represents a placeholder or variable)
  • Text that appears in bold (sometimes plain) must be typed exactly as it appears (i.e., it represents a literal).
  • Text that appears in square brackets (i.e., []) is optional.
  • Ellipsis (i.e., …) after an item (e.g., argument, expression) indicates that it can be repeated any number of times.

You may also see some or all of the following.

  • The vertical bar (i.e., |) used to indicate an “inclusive or”.
  • Curly braces (i.e., {}) used to indicate an “exclusive or”.