Where Is It Okay To Use ALL CAPS?

Description: It's not just the typeface you use that has an effect on how people view your site - it's the way you use it that matters as well. One example is using capitals - should you do it, and if so when?

Think very carefully before using all capitals to communicate with your website's visitors. If you never ever used them at all it wouldn't be a problem - which should tell you that you need to be very careful if you do decide to use them.

Most people know that using all capitals is akin to shouting. You therefore need to ask yourself why you would want to shout at your visitors. There are usually better ways of conveying a message to them - however important that message may be.

It's a fact of life that shouting is most often interpreted as being rude. Second to that is the interpretation that it can be a warning sign. If you have a genuine reason for wanting to warn people about something - such as a web scam for example - then you can use it sparingly, but even then you should only select as few words as possible to capitalize.

The second reason why putting a string of words in capital letters isn't advised is because it's not as easy to read a sentence composed purely of upper case letters as it is to read one in lower case. Now presumably you want your website to be as accessible as possible to other people. This means you had better stick with lower case as much as possible.

One final point - if you rely on capital letters to emphasize an important point too much, it can point to lazy writing as well as being harder on the eyes. Try and make your point by adding an extra sentence or two, or making your writing stronger. Both you and your visitors will reap the benefits.

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