Best practices

  • Download and use the script template above.

  • Keep it concise, conversational, and avoid over-explanations.

  • Write your script with a single intent.

  • Begin with a short friendly opener that offers an idea of why the feature being taught matters. Don’t start with the words "In this video, you'll learn..." or words to that effect. The intro should say or paraphrase the title of the video. Avoid cliches (everything can’t lead to a “consistent, professional look” or be done “the way you want.”)  

  • Don’t include a conclusion/wrap-up sentence to finish the video.

  • VO and text boxes should be similar, but don’t have to always match.

  • Don’t say “click.” Use “select” on a computer and “tap” on a mobile device. “Choose,” can also work from time to time. 

  • Make sure you name all UI elements that are being selected as it’s important for accessibility. Select File > New. You don’t need to mention the Group, just the Tab and command.

  • If there’s an odd “error” or unexpected pop-up in the steps, explain it.

  • Use contractions.

  • Avoid overusing “you can”-type phrases. Instead of “…you can select Insert…”, just say “Select Insert…”

  • Make sure you are using the latest version of Office, and you are currently part of the Office Insider Program. We recommend using Windows 11. If you are doing any video that shows Windows UI, it must be Windows 11 unless noted. 

Tone & Voice

  • We use second person, aiming for “friendly imperative”.

  • Think about it as if you’re leaning over a friend’s shoulder and telling them how to do it.

Words to Avoid

  • Avoid overusing “you can”-type phrases. Instead of “…you can select Insert…”, just say “Select Insert…”

  • Avoid words like easy, just, simple, quick, fast.

On-screen activity & storyboard

  • Use this box to describe what will be shown in the video. If there are things that you want to highlight with a red box, or if the video can zoom in on an important step, call it out. It’s also a good practice to call out any time jumps or cuts, like dissolving to a new document or showing time that has passed.

  • You don’t need to have VO in all rows. There should be 1, maybe two images in a row. If you are showing a sequence, break it up between rows, and just have actions listed. 

  • Add notes to call out all areas that need masking, such as unapproved names.

  • Use images in the storyboard that best showcase the step that is being highlighted in the video.

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