The Computer Society style is conservative in the use of capital letters. A company's or public relations firm's wishes about capitalization rarely carry any weight.

For company, product, system, and language names, use an initial capital only. Editors should determine whether the term is really a proper noun or merely descriptive or generic.

Internal capitals

For many years, Computer Society style prohibited the use of internal capitals in words, insisting on an initial capital only for product names, system names, and so forth. Words such as MiniDIP and AutoCAD were accepted as combinations of words and acronyms. This strict approach has not been sustainable in the real world. We now permit one internal capital when it is the first letter of another word, as in PostScript, MacDraw, or dBase. Only a few exceptions exist, for example, NeXT and LaTeX. If in doubt, see the alphabetical section of this style guide.


In the titles of articles, books, and so forth, capitalize nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and first and last words. Function words (articles, coordinate conjunctions, and prepositions) are not capitalized, regardless of their length: "Better Health through Psychotherapy," "Keeping the Peace without Creating Conflict." The exception is following a colon—for example, "Along a Different Path: A Case Study." For hyphenated words in titles, see CMS 8.159.
In references, use standard capitalization for titles but don't lowercase internal capitals or improper acronyms that appear as part of a product or system name, even if it conflicts with the style guidelines.

Department names

Names of departments, divisions, laboratories, and so forth are capitalized when used as part of an organization's proper name: the University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer Science; the university's computer science department; the IBM Almaden Research Center; Hewlett-Packard's advertising department.