"We have 31in of whatever and 4m of whatever etc..."

Should there be a space between the number and the units? Should the units be in italics or normal font? When do the units go in italics?

Then suppose you have a bullet point list with numbers:

  1. So & so: 4m.

  2. So & so: 31in.

Do rules apply differently here?

  • If they are SI units, the proper SI representation is not to have white space. Other units may vary.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 18:44
  • 1
    @Chenmunka Please cite your source for this claim. I can't find a single authoritative standard that agrees with you (example, §5.3.3). Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


The correct way to express measurement units in technical documentation is defined by the style guide specified by the publication, agency, or organization.

For example, NIST has detailed notes on the typeface for variables and units enter image description here and they agree with the IEEE style manual enter image description here

but Google's Developer Style Manual doesn't discuss the topic at all, through the details regarding spacing and abbreviations and nomenclature agree with the two previous cited examples.

The most important thing is to be consistent. If this is for in house documentation or a student project the selecting a style guide and following it is the best practice.

The style guides I reviewed all required a space between the units and the numeric value. And if the values are bullet listed, there is no reason for that to change the formatting, unless a style guide defines that as the expected pattern.

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