all caps

Fine for less than one line

All-caps text —mean­ing text with all the let­ters cap­i­tal­ized—is best used spar­ingly.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use caps. Just use them judi­ciously. Caps are suit­able for headings shorter than one line (e.g.,Table of Author­i­ties”), head­ers, foot­ers, cap­tions, or other labels. Caps work at small point sizes. Caps work well on letterhead and business cards. Always add letterspacing to caps to make them eas­ier to read, and make sure kerning is turned on.

DON’T CAP­I­TAL­IZE WHOLE PARA­GRAPHS. THIS HABIT IS ENDEMIC TO LAWYERS, BUT IT’S ESPE­CIALLY COM­MON IN CON­TRACTS. MANY LAWYERS SEEM TO THINK THAT CAP­I­TAL­IZA­TION COM­MU­NI­CATES AUTHOR­ITY AND IMPOR­TANCE.HEY, LOOK HERE, I’M A LAWYER! I DEMAND THAT YOU PAY ATTEN­TION TO THIS!” BUT A PARA­GRAPH SET IN ALL CAPS IS VERY HARD TO READ. IT’S EVEN WORSE IN BOLD. AS THE PARA­GRAPH WEARS ON, READ­ERS FATIGUE. INTER­EST WANES. HOW ABOUT YOU? DO YOU ENJOY READ­ING THIS? I DOUBT IT. BUT I REG­U­LARLY SEE CAP­I­TAL­IZED PARA­GRAPHS IN LEGAL DOC­U­MENTS THAT ARE MUCH LONGER THAN THIS. DO YOUR READ­ERS A FAVOR. STOP CAP­I­TAL­IZ­ING WHOLE PARA­GRAPHS.

All-caps para­graphs are an exam­ple of self-defeat­ing typog­ra­phy. If you need read­ers to pay atten­tion to an impor­tant part of your doc­u­ment, the last thing you want is for them to skim over it. But that’s what inevitably hap­pens with all-caps para­graphs because they’re so hard to read.