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Content Formatting Guide

Home > Content Formatting Guide
08/29/2018 - 6:15pm

Contact and Training

Frequently Asked Questions

Formatting a Work Instruction

Organizing a Work Instruction or a Job Aid

Adding ERA Icons and Other Images

Contact and Training

For questions or help with the workflow, content or formatting, please email SPOT [at] asu [dot] edu.

For an overview of the workflow process, please see:

Please email SPOT [at] asu [dot] edu if you would like to request additional training.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is the primary responsibility of the Content Editors and Content Owners on each team?

A: Content Editors and Content Owners are intended as functional and active roles. Staff who have access to edit content on Research Admin website are responsible for making sure that pages assigned to their team are always up-to-date and are frequently reviewed for content revisions or any other issues.


Q: What is SPOT [at] asu [dot] edu and who receives emails sent to that mailbox?

A: SPOT stands for Single Point of Truth. The mailbox is checked throughout the day by the OKED Quality and Continuous Improvement (QCI) team who assist Content Editors and Content Owners with questions and requests pertaining to web content.


Q: What is the general timeframe of responses for emails sent to SPOT?

A: Most requests are processed within the same business day. Some requests may require additional time, which QCI will coordinate with Content Editors and Content Owners.


Q: What information should be provided when submitting time-sensitive requests to SPOT?

A: For requests that must be processed in less than one business day, please indicate specific timeframe for when the resolution is expected. Please include reasons for the expedited processing, as well as any other helpful information. QCI team will give all urgent requests priority, so that they can be processed in a timely manner.


Q: What is the process of submitting new or revised documents to SPOT?

A: Content Editors should copy their team Content Owners when submitting new or revised documents to SPOT for work instructions and other web pages. Please indicate the purpose of a new document and / or what revisions were made, as well as the pages on which the document is currently linked or where it will need to be added.


Q: What is the process of reporting broken links or other technical issues?

A: Please report any technical issues or questions about Research Admin website to SPOT, so that QCI can follow up with Research Technology team and keep track of the issue resolution, as well as continuous improvement.


Formatting a Work Instruction

Copy & Paste / Formatting

When pasting content into the Body section of the Editor, use "Paste as plain text" and "Paste from Word" function keys found on the toolbar. Use "Paste as plain text" when pasting from sources other than Word or Outlook. Use "Paste from Word" when pasting from Word or Outlook.

Do not paste content from external source(s) directly into the Body section of the Editor.

NOTE: When editing content using Chrome or Firefox, alternate font styles may not be apparent, but will display for IE users. Use of the "Paste from Word" function should resolve most instances of alternate font styles. Remember that any style formatting of pasted content must be done within the body of the web page to conform with web formatting guidelines.

Duplicate Information

Please do not paraphrase or directly quote information that already appears on the site. Instead, create a link to the page / document that has the original information.

Headings / Capitalization

Be mindful when using headings, capitalization, or other formatting, such as italics, in the body of the web page. Use headings found under Format for section and subsection titles. Some text can be bolded without using a heading. For more specific instructions and examples of headings, please refer to the sample below.


Where applicable, an introductory statement or paragraph may be used at the top of the work instruction to highlight key topics covered or provide useful background information. This can be especially useful for complex work instructions with several major sections.


When removing / changing a document link, please include a notation within the comment field, so that Quality Assurance may follow up if necessary.

When creating a link, how the URL is added differs depending on whether the link is to information contained within researchadmin.asu.edu, such as an uploaded document or work instruction, or it is to information that is located outside of the site.

To create a link, paste the URL into the link box:

Log Messages / Comments

Write a brief note in the Log Message field every time a new draft is created. The log should summarize what changes / updates have been made. An additional message may be included in the Comment field for the Content Owners / Quality Assurance.

Revisions / Drafts

Before editing a page, check the Revisions tab, to make sure there is not already a pending draft for that page. There should be no more than one draft pending for any page at any given time. Any pending revisions should NOT be reverted or removed. Please continue to make edits until the page is ready to move forward. While working in a draft, it can be saved and returned to later, before sending it to the next step of the workflow.

Saving / Back Button

Continue saving a draft and making edits until it is ready to send to the next step of the workflow. If using the edit screen for an extended period of time, save the draft frequently (every 15 minutes or so) to minimize the risk of losing changes. Do not click the Back button of the browser while in the editing screen. Clicking the Back button will cause the loss of all unsaved changes.


Tables must be created using the Insert / Edit Table function in the body of the web page.

Tags / Section Anchors

When editing pages, do not change the tags. Use section anchors to assist visitors in jumping to major sections of the same page.

Team Roles

Each team in charge of various pages should establish roles, such as Content Editors & Content Owners, and adhere to those roles when making revisions on the site.


Avoid using personal terms such as "you" or "we"; instead, use statements such as "review the sponsor announcement..." or "the assigned GCO will contact...".


Organizing a Work Instruction or a Job Aid


Sentence-style capitalization is most often the appropriate choice for such things as menu choices (e.g., a listing of section anchors) and page sections (i.e., when headings are used).


  • The first word of every sentence.
  • The first, last, and important words for composition titles (publications, books, articles). “Important words" usually do not include articles (the) or short prepositions (of) but do include all verbs, including short ones (is).
  • Proper nouns: persons, things, geographical locations, names of journals, days of the week, months, holidays.
  • The first word after a comma or colon if, and only if, it begins a complete sentence.
  • Formal names of departments, laws, rules.
  • Nouns before numbers or letters that indicate a specific place in a numbered series (Chapter 4, Table 3).
  • All words in a compound word (e.g., Double-Blind Trial).

Collapse functionality

Some pages that contain a lot of content may benefit from collapsible sections. Please follow the steps outlined on the Collapse Functionality page to include the plugin as part of your web content.


Regular Normal font is used for the body of the webpage. (Verdana should be used in documents.)


There are five heading levels available. Heading 2 is used for major sections (which should not be numbered). Heading 3 for subsections of those major sections, and so forth. If only one level of heading is needed for a page, use Heading 2.

Example of Heading 2

Example of Heading 3


Example of Heading 4


Example of fourth level of heading using Bold Normal Font


Example of fifth level of heading using Bold Italicized Normal Font


Multiple indent settings are available horizontally. However, consider the limited width of the webpage before indenting large sections of text.

Job aids

A Job Aid Template for creating documents in conjunction with these guidelines is found on the Forms and Templates page.


Auto-numbering should be used for hierarchical order or chronology:

  1. text
  2. text

For chronological or hierarchical information within an item in a numbered list, auton-umbering follows this numbering scheme:

  1. text
  2. text
    1. text
    2. text
      1. text
  3. text

After hitting the return key after a first level number, tab right to move to the second level of numbering. To return to the first level, hit return then tab left and the first level list will resume.


For lists that do not communicate hierarchical order or chronology, use bullets (auto-bulleting feature):

  • text
  • text

For a bulleted list within a bulleted list, auto-bulleting follows this scheme:

  • text
  • text
    • text
    • text
      • text
  • text

Use the right and left tab keys as described above for auto-numbering to move to different levels of the auto-bulleted list.

Section Anchors

For pages with substantial amounts of text and several primary sections, use section anchors to move users through the page. Within each of the anchored sections you will follow the above hierarchies for the body of that text.


User Criteria

User criteria includes the following items....

Set the section anchor first at the destination point to which the user will jump, then create a link to that anchor where the content sections are listed. The section anchor listing should be in Normal font and use sentence-style capitalization (as shown in this example). The section anchor listing should not be numbered.


Adding ERA Icons and Other Images

ERA Icons

  1. In the page draft, indicate where ERA icons need to be added.

    Example: "After reviewing all of the SF424 SmartForms and verifying the information is correct, RAs will want to run the <VALIDATE SUBMISSION icon> activity, and then run the <SUBMISSION PRE-CHECK icon> activity."
  2. Take screenshots of the referenced ERA icons, and paste them into an email or a Word document.
  3. Crop the screenshots, if needed.
  4. Email the ERA icons to SPOT [at] asu [dot] edu, and include links to the page where the icons need to be added.

Other Images

If you would like to add or replace graphs or other images on pages, please email SPOT [at] asu [dot] edu and indicate what images need to be added or replaced. QCI will review the request, and contact you if additional information is required.