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Sentence case vs Title Case - let's battle!

over 4 years ago from , Waldorf & Statler @ the balcony (creative director & digital strategist)

Hi there DNers,

For those not in the know:

  • This is a sentence case title
  • This is a Title Case Title

So with sentence case, you capitalize the first letter of the sentence (and any names) whereas with title case you capitalize most words, sometimes excluding.

I'd love to get some opinions on the Sentence case vs Title Case issue. What do you guys prefer, and if you'd have to put reasons behind it, what would they be? What do you use in your designs and when? Are there certain contexts where you prefer one over the other? Brands, UI elements or niches that affect the choice?

I asked this question one Stackexchange in a more formal way, but I'd love to hear some opinions as well as factual responses. Since SE isn't meant for opinions, I thought I'd ask here!

21 comments

  • Jeremy WellsJeremy Wells, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    I typically use sentence-case titles whenever the headline is a complete sentence, or needs a more friendly tone.

    With our new feature, you can create animated cat gifs

    I use title-case titles whenever the headline is an incomplete sentence, or it needs to have a more professional tone.

    All New: Animated Cat Gif Feature

    12 points
  • ChrisArchitec t, over 4 years ago

    http://titlecapitalization.com/

    6 points
  • Nathan LongNathan Long, over 4 years ago

    To me it also comes down to tone:

    This Is A Super Important Declaration

    This is more casual and conversational

    I always picture title case as being read by an announcer...

    4 points
  • Steve McKinneySteve McKinney, over 4 years ago

    I don't like title case. I think the majority of people do it wrong and some sentences can get really weird with the amount of uppercase and lowercase first letters, which makes scanning harder.

    If you have two or three words it's probably more acceptable.

    1 point
  • Geoff RogersGeoff Rogers, over 4 years ago

    Sentence case looks a lot better to me, but that might be a cultural thing. I think title case is a lot more common in the US compared to the UK.

    I see no need for title case though. Headlines stand out by design, they don't need to be 'Shouted at Me' too. I'd only use title case if I were writing for a site like TMZ or Gawker or something else where you need to pretend like you're 'real' news by copying the trappings, like some kind of cargo cult.

    1 point
  • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, over 4 years ago

    I'm not going to comment on when to use either, but when I do need to check whether I'm using Sentence Case correctly I use this tool: http://titlecapitalization.com/

    1 point
  • Drew BeckDrew Beck, over 4 years ago

    I'm struggling with this in a complex web app I'm developing. The folks I'm working for tend to favor Title Case, and I favor Sentence case.

    What are people's thoughts for buttons/actions, specifically?

    Remove Task from List

    vs

    Remove task from list

    To me the second feels far more direct and clear as to what's happening, what the intent is. The first feels off in a way I can't articulate!

    Any thoughts?

    0 points
  • Gabe WillGabe Will, over 4 years ago

    Guess I've never thought about how I feel about it personally.

    iOS advocates title style, Android advocates sentence style; as a result, I see Android as a little more informal and friendly.

    0 points
  • Sarah NewmanSarah Newman, over 4 years ago

    I think this isn't a preference but more a question of grammar. If you are writing a complete sentence, use sentence case. If you are giving a title to a sentence or paragraph, use title case.

    Breaking these fundamentals for aesthetic purposes may not work in all cases, like long-form or publications.

    0 points
  • David HooglandDavid Hoogland, over 4 years ago

    Funny I have just been going back and forth with that in the last week on a project. My feeling says sentence title case just because it's more grammatical correct, but since it's an online magazine with big bold headlines and images it does look rather nice with the Title Case Title. So I'm going for Title Case now. It somehow makes the headline look more important, or at least stand out more, more eager to be read, or something. =)

    0 points
  • Rude AyeloRude Ayelo, over 4 years ago

    Title Case is just annoying to me, simply because you can't see names clearly, an example would be:

    Try The New Hoodie And You Won't Look Back

    so is that a product or service called Hoodie (which by the way exists and it's awesome) or is it an actual hoodie? This is just clearer and easier to read to me:

    Try the new Hoodie and you won't look back

    0 points
  • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, over 4 years ago

    I tend to use title case for headings, page titles and link titles. This is a formal approach and may not meet brand standards for particular products or audiences.

    I blame all the academic writing I did in college, pre-WWW.

    0 points
  • Yakim van ZuijlenYakim van Zuijlen, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    I mostly use sentence case. It looks more grammatically correct. Although I have to admit, title case looks better in some cases.

    But honestly, I find it really hard to choose. That’s probably the reason I go back to sentence case every time.

    0 points
  • Adam WAdam W, over 4 years ago

    Sentence case for headlines that sentences, title case for incomplete thoughts or just a few words. EZPZ

    0 points