UPPER CASE versus lower case for headings

UPPER CASE or full capitals means typing text, such as a heading, in capital letters. It is used to emphasise the text, but it can be harder to read than lower case text.

With UPPER CASE, all the letters are the same height. With lower case, there is more visual difference between the letters as some extend above the line, such as t and d, and some extend below the line, such as g and y. The greater differentiation between the letters in lower case makes it easier for readers to quickly recognise the letters and words – and the meaning of your message.

Compare these two formats:

  • PLEASE READ THIS VERY IMPORTANT AND LONG HEADING CAREFULLY
  • Please read this very important and long heading carefully

Headings in UPPER CASE can also be hard to read if they include acronyms, such as WHO for World Health Organisation, which usually stand out as acronyms in text because they are in UPPER CASE.

Make it as easy as possible for readers to get your message. Try to avoid using UPPER CASE, particularly for long headings.

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