How to write numbers, currency, dates, times, and phone numbers.
- use numerals instead of words for numbers
- use commas to separate thousands when the number is over 1,000
- for numbers in the millions, use the word ‘million’ instead of writing out the number in full
- use words for first to ninth, then numbers after that, for example:
- the second referndum
- the 10th flag.
- Your child must start school by the age of 6.
- 1.8 million people voted in the referendum.
- Freephone: 0800 101 996
- Phone: +64 4 123 4567
For detailed advice on numbers, see:
If a heading starts with a number, write it as a word, unless it’s a year.
Dates and times
- Write dates as day, month, year in full.
- Do not use ordinal numbers, for example, 1st or 3rd, in dates.
- Show time using a 12-hour clock.
- Show start and end times in full.
- Use ‘midnight’ not ‘00:00’.
- Spell out the names of days and months in full.
Use ‘to’ instead of an en dash (–) in date and time ranges as it’s easier for screen readers to read out.
- 12 December 2015
- 12 noon, not 12pm
- 5:30pm not 17:30hrs
- 10am to 11am, not 10 to 11am
- Monday to Friday
- 10 November to 21 December 2016
Put the currency code and currency symbol before any monetary amounts.
- If you’re a United States citizen, you pay USD$640.
- If you’re an Australian citizen it costs AUD$890.
- British citizens pay GBP£420.
- Japanese citizens pay JPY¥550.
Phone and fax numbers
Always use freephone (rather than phone) for a freephone number (such as 0800, 0508).
‘If you just need some medical advice, you can call a registered nurse on Healthline, freephone 0800 611 116.’
If it’s a New Zealand freephone, always put ‘(NZ only)’ after the number.
Freephone: 0800 611 116 (NZ only)
Use freefax rather than free fax.
Use cellphone, rather than cell-phone or cell phone.
Use TTY: as the label for any number that provides a text service for the deaf community.
TTY: 0800 111 113
Unless they’re used in the middle of a sentence, phone, freephone, email and website should always have a colon after them.
Phone: +64 4 456 2390
Do not use bullet points for contact details — they are not a ‘list’ so shouldn’t be marked up as one.
Freephone: 0800 123 4547
- Freephone: 0800 123 4547
- Email: email@example.com
Code for phone numbers
To make your phone numbers clickable:
<a href="tel:0044555555">+44 555 555</a>
Write phone numbers with non-breaking spaces between the groups of numbers. A non-breaking space keeps the whole number on 1 line — in HTML it’s coded as ‘ ’. Numbers are grouped based on your organisation’s style.
Include the plus sign and the international country code with phone numbers.
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