Numbers, measurements and units

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Use numerals

  • whenever a number is followed by a unit symbol

(for example kg, m)

  • for references to illustrations
  • for dates, page numbers, percentages and expressions of


  • where several numbers are used in succession, some less

and some more than ten, use numerals throughout

  • use decimals and never fractions

Use words

  • for numbers from one to ten; numerals for larger numbers
  • in whole numbers containing several zeros, either substitute

a word for part of the number (e.g. 16 million instead of 16 000 000)

  • do not begin a sentence with a numeral

Spaces and markers

  • use a full point for the decimal marker e.g. 16.6 kg
  • numbers with up to four digits or fewer on either side of the

decimal marker are set without spaces or commas: 616, 1684, 0.8333

  • numbers with more than four digits are divided by a fixed

space, not a comma, every three digits from the decimal marker: 25 000, 1 584 000, 0.616 42


  • millions: use m and decimals: 1 m, 1.5 m, 20 m
  • billions: use bn and decimals: 1 bn, 1.5 bn, 20 bn
  • per cent should be spelt out, not %