Skip to main content

Content and publishing guidance update

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Best practice

Three weeks ago we launched revised content and publishing guidance to make it easier for GOV.UK publishers to find information about style, content design and using Whitehall publisher.

It’s still a work in progress, so since then we’ve filled in some of the gaps for content types including:

We also updated the guidance on:

Next, we’re working to provide best practice examples for all content types, and finishing manuals guidance.

We’ll continue to tell you what’s planned for upcoming sprints. If there’s something you’d like us to do, or you've noticed that something's missing, please leave a comment or use the feedback form.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Andy posted on

    The links don't work in firefox

  2. Comment by E. Brown posted on

    Hi Lynne,

    Thanks for checking in and letting us know about the updates.

    Can you please, please look at adding links from each manual to the others? If you don't have the top level bookmarked, there's no easy way to move from content advice to the style guide, for instance, when you've decided that it was the style guide you really wanted (because all the advice about writing for GOV.UK is no longer in the style guide...).

    Also: on a site that is firmly driven by search where there's no referring structures to use for guidance....these manuals have no working search features.

    The search on the page is for the whole of GOV.UK.

    Why is that?

    I'd hoped to use this manual format for some documents for our agency. But I can't recommend it to anyone because there's no search feature.

    I can't open the headings to view all the headings and subheadings. 'Open all' opens a given section, but does not show you all the headings and subheadings.

    I'd be better off with a printed ToC...except there's no working print option to either print the whole manual, or print just the headings.

    Why is that?

    It was projected as part of the manual format, according to the discovery findings:

    4. There’s still a need for documents offline. One of the first comments on the excellent HTML Government Digital Strategy was “where can I download the PDF”. Users of all kinds of manuals say the same. They want to read documents offline or print them, whether on an eReader or a laptop connected to the internet, and a PDF is generally the most familiar way to do that. For now we’ll be adding a button to print the page which will make it clear to users that you can print and in the future we’d like to auto-generate PDFs.

    Can you please advise when the print feature and the search feature (akin to searching a PDF) might be available?

    Right now, I'm really missing your previous arrangement of style guide and instructions, because at least Ctrl-F worked on those pages.


    E. Brown, daily user

    • Replies to E. Brown>

      Comment by Lynne Roberts posted on

      Hi E.Brown,

      Thanks for your input. We’re also daily users of the manuals, and we know that navigating between them is an issue. As you say, the best option at the moment is to bookmark the subtopic. Hopefully we’ll have an improved navigation soon, but unfortunately I can’t give you a timescale for this right now.

      The Product gaps team are looking at the print issue in the next sprint or 2. We’re hoping this will be available by the end of the year. However, downloading the manuals as PDFs isn’t something we’d recommend, as they’re regularly updated.

      Search is also something they’re looking at, although it’s less likely to be done this year. But all pages and sections are indexed within the main GOV.UK search, and you can filter the search by GDS content.

      Regarding your ‘open all’ problem, this isn’t something other users have reported. If it’s still an issue, please use the support form to tell us the details.

      Hope this helps,


  3. Comment by Andrew Robertson posted on

    If navigation between the manuals is a problem, could a quick fix simply be to create a new section such as 'Related guides' and list them, in the same way a 'Feedback' section is at the end of the guides?