Trademark Guidelines for Publishers

Many publishers produce books and periodicals that include information about Microsoft software and products. The following guidelines provide information about the proper way to refer to Microsoft trademarks in such publications.

Using Microsoft Trademarks in Text

Follow these guidelines when referencing Microsoft brand software and products in the text of your materials.

Properly Identify Microsoft Software and Products

When referring to Microsoft software and products, apply the appropriate trademark symbols and descriptors according to the current Microsoft trademark list. Information specific to Windows Vista is available in the Windows Vista Guidelines for Publishers.

Here are some examples of Microsoft brands and their descriptors:

  • Microsoft software

  • Windows operating system

  • Encarta multimedia encyclopedia

  • FrontPage Web site creation and management tool

  • MSN Internet Services

  • Outlook messaging software

  • PowerPoint presentation graphics program

  • Xbox video game system

Set Microsoft Trademarks Apart from Other Words or Nouns They Modify

The common way to set trademarks apart from other words is to capitalize the product name and use the appropriate trademark symbol and appropriate descriptor. You can also use underlining, italic type, or bold for the name.

Correct: After you install the Windows operating system...

Incorrect: After installing Windows programs...

Use Trademark Notices

Include an attribution of Microsoft ownership of the trademark(s) in the credit notice section of your documentation or advertisement. Here is one example of the format to follow:

  • Microsoft, MSN, and Windows Vista are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Do Not Shorten, Abbreviate, or Create Acronyms from Microsoft Trademarks

Correct: This product works with the Windows® XP and Windows Vista® operating systems.

Incorrect: This product works with WinXP and Vista.

Do Not Use Inappropriate Descriptors

Microsoft trademarks identify specific products and services. Do not refer to applications, services, or hardware devices that work with Microsoft products incorrectly. For example, do not refer to products or services that work with the Windows operating system as "Windows applications," "Windows services," or "Windows hardware." If necessary, these types of products can be referred to by their relationship to the Windows operating system by inserting the word based between the name Windows and the type of product designed to work with Windows.

Correct: SpreadsheetXYZ is a Windows-based application.

Incorrect: SpreadsheetXYZ is a Windows application.

Do Not Use Microsoft Trademarks in the Possessive or Plural Forms

Microsoft trademarks should never be used in the possessive or plural forms. They should be introduced as proper adjectives followed by an appropriate descriptor.

Correct: This presentation was created using PowerPoint presentation manager.

Incorrect: Widget Software Company included some PowerPoints in its presentation.

Use of Trademarks in Titles

Use of Microsoft trademarks in the titles of magazines, periodicals, and other serial publications is not allowed without a license. You may use Microsoft trademarks on publication covers and in the title of single issue books provided that you comply with the guidelines on this page and the following specifications:

  1. The publication should relate to the specific Microsoft product, service, or technology mentioned.

  2. Your name and/or logo must appear more prominently than the Microsoft trademark.

  3. A disclaimer of sponsorship by, affiliation with, or endorsement by Microsoft similar to the following example should be included on the publication and all related printed materials.

    (Title) is an independent (publication) and is not affiliated with, nor has it been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation.   

  4. Include a trademark attribution using the notice format provided. See Use Trademark Notices section.

  5. For magazines, do not use a Microsoft trademark as the leading word or most prominent element in your publication title. You may use Microsoft trademarks in a referential manner (such as "XYZ MAGAZINE for the Windows operating system"). Use outside this referential manner (such as "Windows Magazine") requires a license from Microsoft Corporation. 

  6. For books, you may use a Microsoft trademark as the leading word in the title of a single book. A series of books that uses a Microsoft trademark requires a license from Microsoft Corporation. 

  7. Do not use the Microsoft trademark in any manner that suggests Microsoft affiliation with, sponsorship of, or certification of the publication. 

Information specific to Windows Vista is available in the Windows Vista Guidelines for Publishers.

Use of Logos

Publishers may not do the following:

  • Use any Microsoft logos, logotypes, trade dress, or other brand elements in, or on the cover of, their publication.

  • Create their own logos to represent Microsoft software, products, or services.

  • Use Microsoft logos on posters, brochures, signage, their Web sites, or other materials to promote a book about Microsoft software, products, or services.

  • Add their own logo to, or remove any Microsoft logo from, a CD that may be provided to them by Microsoft for inclusion with a publication.