Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Text Styles

In the Edit mode of Adobe Contribute, you can enter and edit text on to your web page. But to help keep the content clear, good web design uses a combination of Headers, Paragraphs and Lists to organize the page.

It's important to not misuse semantically meaningful html tags. Use headings as headings, italics for emphasis, paragraph returns for paragraphs.


Headings should be used to briefly describe the topic of the text that follows. They are not meant to be used to emphasize or contrast important phrases of text. There are six levels of headings defined. However, please note that the first two are reserved for the the PCC logo in the header and the page heading.

The heading styles are located in the formatting toolbar as shown below.

heading styles

Heading 3

This is the largest heading you can use. Use this to define the main sections of your page.

Heading 4

Use this heading to describe sub-divisions of the sections under a Heading 3.

Heading 5

This offers yet one more level of sub-division. Use this below a Heading 4.

Heading 6

This is the final level of division available.

If you find that you need more than the four levels of division offered here, you should consider reordering the content of your page. Too many divisions can be confusing.


The paragraph style is the default style when editing your page. If you have applied a different style to some text and you want it to return to the paragraph style, just select "None" from the dropdown Style menu.


Formatting information into a list is an easy way to display large amounts of information in a more easily digestible format. There are three types of lists you can create, Bulleted lists, Numbered lists and Definition Lists.

lists section of toolbar
  • Bulleted list: Creates bullet points in front of list items.
  1. Numbered list: Creates number points in front of list items and should only be used when the order of the content matters.
    1. You can also add sub-levels such as this one by clicking the indent button on the Toolbar (or pressing Tab on your keyboard.) indent and outdent buttons on toolbar
    2. To return to the upper-level bulleting click the Outdent button on the Toolbar (or press Shift+Tab on your keyboard.)
    3. To change the numbering style (e.g., roman numerals, alphabetical characters), highlight the list items to be changed and right-click on them. From the menu that appears, go to "List", then choose "Properties" on the next sub-menu. A screen will open up with various numbering options. Make sure to choose the options for the "Selected Item" only. Otherwise you'll affect the whole list.
Definition List:
You can create a Definition List by highlighting the word you want to define and right-clicking on it. From the menu that appears, go to "List", then choose Definition List. Hit Enter/Return and enter the definition. Hit Enter/Return again and enter another term to be defined. Hit Enter/Return and enter the definition. And so on.


If you use the Tab key or the Contribute indent icon on a paragraph, your text will change to the blockquote style (properly used for long quotes) which probably isn't what you were after.

To indent a part of your web page without making it into a blockquote, please apply the "Section" style from the Style Menu.

Content Consistency Rules

Contact Information Style

It is possible to add contact information in the space underneath the page heading (see the sample above), please use the following format, including the line spacers between address elements, which are created using the shift key with the backslash key (shift + \ ):

Location (link Campus to appropriate locations page) | Contact Name (use a hyperlink) | Phone | Other

If typing the contact information within a paragraph, simply use commas to separate the information: Contact: Gabriel Nagmay, 971-722-4375. Note that it is preferred to link to the staff directory listing for a person, rather than to just an email address.

Time Style

When mentioning times of day, please use this format: 10am to 12 noon, or 6:30pm to 12 midnight

Word Usage

In an attempt to keep the look uniform across the site, we ask that you write and spell the following words as they appear here:

  • website (not web site)
  • online (not on-line)
  • email (not e-mail)
  • Cascade Campus (not Cascade campus)
  • cancelation not cancellation
  • Associate Degree, Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, Doctorate Degree

If you are uncertain about capitalizing certain words, the Chicago Manual of Style website has a forum with many answers.

There are also additional styles that are widely used across the PCC site, but unfortunately cannot be created using Contribute. If you have a need for one of these additional elements, please contact the web team to set it up for you.