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The definition of 'small but mighty,' punctuation is everywhere. Add the right thing at the right time to totally transform your writing.

Because punctuation can make or break whatever it is youre trying to communicate and essentially change the tone but how do you know what to use where and when is a piece of punctuation right or wrong is there even a right and wrong because sometimes in writing theres only good and bad not right and wrong but if youre still reading this paragraph youre probably very aware of just how bad a lack of punctuation can be

Then. there’s the issue of - using punctuation, where it just doesn’t belong? And that can sometimes & have a worse effect, on the writing because you’re: interrupting the. reader’s flow and essentially making! the whole thing even harder to read like harder: than if there was? no punctuation - at all.

So we put together guidelines covering the most common pieces to help you determine what goes where.


The period gives your thought a hard stop before beginning a brand new, self-sustaining sentence. Think of it as an extended pause between the two.

A period is a period—period.

It should be used at the end of just about every sentence that’s not a question. It has every right to appear in body copy, captions, subheads and tooltips.


We help teams and athletes win. With the tools to review and improve performance.


We help teams and athletes win with the tools to review and improve performance.

  • Don’t put one between phrases that can and should live together.
  • Do add a period to finalize the thought.

Make sure the string preceding your period is a complete sentence. There should be a subject and a verb, maybe even an object.


New this season.


Check our tutorials for a closer look at what’s new.

  • Don’t put it on a fragment in an effort to emphasize.
  • Do use periods to clearly separate complete sentences.

If what you’re punctuating is actually a fragment, try editing or attaching it to something else to form the complete thought.

As for abbreviations, anything in the product should not have a period at the end. This is especially important when abbreviating table headers, “versus” and months.


LHS vs. BHS on Sat., 26 Jan. has been postponed.


LHS vs BHS is scheduled for Sun, 27 Jan at 4pm.

  • Don’t clutter an already packed interface with periods.
  • Do abbreviate with no period when space is at a minimum.

For more on where periods often appear, check our non-label guidelines.

Exclamation Points

By definition, the exclamation point is used to indicate force or strong feeling. That’s why we use them sparingly—too many and we risk yelling at the user and/or feigning excitement. Neither is a good look.

There are two clear-cut moments where the exclamation is a no-brainer:

  • What we’re telling them is really, truly, without a doubt going to change their life. Not in the marketing “this product is pretty awesome” sense, but in the “this could be our biggest release of all time” sense.
  • The message preceding the exclamation is beyond important. They’re about to delete something forever, make an irreversible change or spend $1 million. Make sure they realize the significance.

If you have to use an exclamation, use one and only one. Should you ever try putting multiple on the end of a single sentence, your keyboard will catch fire. Them’s the rules.


Best day ever! Your upload is complete. Visit your video page to see it in action.


Invites sent! Your coaches and athletes will receive an email with additional instructions.

  • Don’t tack it on just to seem cute and fun. Words can do that.
  • Do use an exclamation point to convey the importance of a given message.

You’re allowed one exclamation point for an entire workflow or interface. That’s not to say one is required, just that its time and place should be carefully considered.


Best day ever! Your upload is complete! Visit your video page to see it in action!


Invites sent. Don’t forget to add vital stats for all incoming freshmen!

  • Don’t put an exclamation on the end of every sentence.
  • Do save the exclamation for the most exciting or important piece of content.

If you’re still concerned about conveying the right tone, these guidelines might help.

Question Marks

Questions marks are for questions.

If you put a question mark at the end of a sentence, make sure we’re really asking a question and the answer is easy—either as a button or input, or in the form of a link to “learn more.”

Like exclamation points, they should be used sparingly, otherwise our whole product becomes one big Q&A. And that’s weird.


We might’ve just added a new special teams playbook? Log in and see for yourself.


Ready to share another playlist? Check your video page to see what’s available.

  • Don’t add a question mark for the sake of inflection.
  • Do use a question to give your content a natural flow.

Questions work well in headlines and confirmations, where the product or user can provide an answer. Avoid putting them where interaction is harder to come by, like an empty state or tooltip.


Time and place are set. Video’s shared. Uniforms washed.

But are you really ready for game day?


Delete Athlete?

Deleting an athlete will also remove all highlights under their name.

  • Don’t provide a question with no real answer.
  • Do keep the question relevant to the current workflow.

The main reason every answer should be obvious? A question they can’t answer could come off as condescending, and that’s not our style.


The comma indicates a pause in the sentence. If you read a piece of content and realize it rambled with very few opportunities to breathe, you’re probably missing a few commas.

Commas are also used to separate items in a list, and this is where things get tricky. Hudl follows AP Style, therefore we do not use the Oxford comma. This means we don’t put a comma before the conjunction in a simple list.

We do, however, add it to complex lists that wouldn’t make much sense without the comma.


Coaches and athletes can edit, study, and share film on Hudl.


Coaches can upload full games and practices, exchange with their conference or a single opponent, and create highlights for the whole team.

  • Don’t add it to just any list. The pause/separation of those items isn’t necessary.
  • Do include it with longer items that could blur together.

In any non-list situation, your best “test” in determining the necessity of a comma is to read the thing out loud. Anytime you pause for effect or the separation of two clauses, the comma is a safe bet.


You can share any full game or custom playlist, with the entire team or individual athletes, just by selecting the intended recipients from a list of team members.


When it comes to sharing custom playlists with coaches and athletes, all existing comments and drawings will be visible.

  • Don’t add them just because the sentence looks long and breathless. Try trimming instead.
  • Do rely on commas for natural pauses and increased clarity.


Perhaps the most important thing about apostrophes is what they don’t do.

Apostrophes do not make singular words plural.

“Saturday’s” are not for football. Saturdays, on the other hand, can be.

Adding an apostrophe should do one of two things:

  • Indicate a contraction (it’s, we’re, he’ll, etc.)
  • Indicate ownership (Michael’s, the president’s, our neighbors’)

And for what it’s worth, we love contractions.


You’d see a critical message if the upload had failed. It’d be bright red with a giant exclamation.


Your order is being processed as we speak. We’ll email the download as soon as it’s ready.

  • Don’t use the contraction if it actually sounds better without.
  • Do make things more conversational with natural contractions.

Ownership is where things get tricky. Most of our teams are named according to the participating gender (who the team "belongs" to). But the genders are plural—boys and girls—so where does the apostrophe go?

When mentioning sports teams, the apostrophe will almost always go on the very end.


Boy’s varsity football highlights are ready to share! Log in to check them out.


We just received your payment order for girls’ volleyball and boys’ soccer.

  • Don’t assume the S alone keeps things plural.
  • Do put the apostrophe on the end for a plural possessive.

If you’re still not convinced, swap in men/women for a quick test:

  • boys’ soccer = men’s soccer
  • girl’s volleyball = woman’s volleyball


There are three (yes, three) different dashes available to all via keyboard. The hyphen -, the en dash – and the em dash —. Contrary to popular belief, they are not interchangeable.


The fun thing about a hyphen? It can be used in the middle of numbers or letters. In the case of numbers, use hyphens to separate non-inclusive digits, like a phone number or Social Security number. With letters, you can use a hyphen to make one word out of two, like high-quality or decision-maker.


Your video is ready to view-click below to watch it now.


We're bringing first-class support to the Hudl app.

  • Don’t use the hyphen to offset separate phrases.
  • Do use the hyphen to indicate words or letters belong together.

Regardless of which need it serves, never surround the hyphen with spaces. Mash it all together for the ultimate hyphen experience.

En Dashes

The en dash is for numbers, specifically when presenting a range. Nine times out of 10, it will sit there to signify through. The other 10% is reserved for scores.

And when we say through, we mean everything from page numbers to date and time.


You can call us anytime at 402–817–0060.


Plan on being at the arena next Saturday, 5–7pm.

  • Don’t use the en dash to simply join two separate numbers.
  • Do use an en dash to “fill” a range.

The en dash is an exception to how we use space with dashes. Be sure to add a space on both sides to make the full range more legible.

Em Dashes

The longest of the three—the em dash—is also the most versatile. It can be used in place of commas, parentheses, even a semicolon! Anytime you’d offset a phrase, whether in the middle of a sentence or as an afterthought at the end, an em dash will do the trick.

Note that the em dash should only be used in longer blocks of text. Applications within the product are likely onboarding content and other wordy modals.

It’s easy to confuse the en dash and em dash. Consider any instance of the em dash a pause—it wouldn’t make much sense with ranges. And it definitely wouldn’t make sense when trying to tidy one little string, so leave your hyphen alone.

That said, the em dash does share one thing with the hyphen: It should never have spaces on either end. It takes up enough room as it is.


Your game has been submitted. Our analysts will return the video and its data in 12—24 hours.


If you have any questions about the Assist process, don't hesistate to get in touch—we'll be here all weekend.

  • Don’t use the em dash in any string of numbers.
  • Do use the em dash to clearly separate trains of thought.


Our space guidelines should help in clearly dividing content in a shared space—even those instances where many items live on a single line.

You’re encouraged to use space every time. In the case that won’t get the job done, please don’t add a vertical bar or dash just because. (And definitely don’t use a • !) Reach out to Uniform and we’ll work together to find an alternative.