setting URLs

redbarn's picture

Has the Chicago Manual of Style or similar august body come up with any recommendations for dealing typographically with the ever more ubiquitous www.riverrunpastEveandAdamsfromswerveofshore/tobendofbay/bringsusbyacomm...

johndberry's picture

I usually find that it's easier to distinguish URLs when they're set in italic (assuming you're using a typeface with a readable italic). When the URL is too long for one line, I try to break at a slash (virgule), and for absolute clarity I sometimes bring the slash down to the next line; that way it's absolutely clear that this is just a line break within a URL. No hyphens, since there may be hard hyphens in the address itself.

And I never include the "http://" prefix, which is redundant in print.

It's probably better to pull long URLs out of running text altogether, if you can, and set them as separate elements on the page.

bowerbird's picture

john said:
> It's probably better to pull long URLs out of running text altogether,
> if you can, and set them as separate elements on the page.

even better is to create a file on the web
-- one with a nice, short u.r.l., please --
with all the u.r.l.'s for the entire document.

it's not nice to make people enter a u.r.l.

_especially_ a very long-and-complicated one.

-bowerbird

p.s. and remember, there _are_ shortening services!

cuttlefish's picture

p.s. and remember, there _are_ shortening services!

But one can't be sure how long the databases of those URL shorteners are maintained, nor of the stability of the companies that operate them. Besides, some of them have intrusive features or restrict the nature of the sites you link with them.

The "http://" prefix helps me to identify a URL in print when the domain is a relatively unfamiliar brand and isn't preceded by "www." or followed by the usual ".com", etc. However, it really annoys me to hear it read out loud on the radio, especially when the announcer says "forward-slash".

aluminum's picture

"But one can't be sure how long the databases of those URL shorteners are maintained"

Nor can one be sure how long the actual URL will be maintained.

I'd consider using footnotes. Put the full URL in the foot note. And, as bowerbird suggested, it'd be great if there were also a short-url option as well to facilitate typing.

bowerbird's picture

cuttlefish said:
> But

i agree, and have said as much, many times.

nonetheless, just throwing it out there as an option.

i also agree that a footnote is a good place to bury a u.r.l.

-bowerbird

Syndicate content Syndicate content