Typographical conventions

Updated: September 12, 2023

Throughout this manual, we use certain typographical conventions to distinguish technical terms. In general, the conventions we use conform to those found in IEEE POSIX publications.

The following table summarizes our conventions:

Reference Example
Code examples if( stream == NULL)
Command options -lR
Commands make
Constants NULL
Data types unsigned short
Environment variables PATH
File and pathnames /dev/null
Function names exit()
Keyboard chords CtrlAltDelete
Keyboard input Username
Keyboard keys Enter
Program output login:
Variable names stdin
Parameters parm1
User-interface components Navigator
Window title Options
We use an arrow in directions for accessing menu items, like this:

We use notes, cautions, and warnings to highlight important messages:

Note: Notes point out something important or useful.
Cautions tell you about commands or procedures that may have unwanted or undesirable side effects.
Warnings tell you about commands or procedures that could be dangerous to your files, your hardware, or even yourself.
Alert: Alerts tell you about commands or procedures that could expose private information or otherwise compromise security.

Note to Windows users

In our documentation, we typically use a forward slash (/) as a delimiter in pathnames, including those pointing to Windows files. We also generally follow POSIX/UNIX filesystem conventions.