# [texhax] Units in technical writing...Guide for the rules

Firestone, Elaine R. (GSFC-616.0)[BIOSPHERICAL INSTRUMENTS INC] elaine.r.firestone at nasa.gov
Thu Dec 29 16:00:24 CET 2011

```If anyone needs "the rules" for this, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US, the foremost authority for this, had a handy publication titled "Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI)," NIST Special Publication 811, 2008 Edition, by, Ambler Thompson and Barry N. Taylor. this topic is covered at length in section 6, "Rules and Style Conventions for Printing and Using Units." You can access the electronic file at <http://www.nist.gov/pml/pubs/sp811/index.cfm> and you can download a pdf version of it from that page.

Hope this helps.

Elaine

Elaine Firestone, ELS
BSI, Inc., Communications and Documentation Manager
E-mail: Elaine.R.Firestone at nasa.gov
Phone: 240-786-7540

On Dec 28, 2011, at 7:04 PM, Robert Wilson wrote:

> I'd like to ask a related question on what is the appropriate way to
> typeset units. Italic? Space between number and unit? I've never been
> able to find an authoritative style guide.
>
> Thanks,
> Bob
>
> On Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 3:56 PM, Gordon Haverland
> <ghaverla at materialisations.com> wrote:
>> Lately, I've been lazy and writing things like \$3 mSv/a\$ in LaTeX.
>> And LaTeX ignores the space between the number and the unit.
>>
>> I have no problems with numbers with units being in math italic,
>> or even writing chemistry in math mode and having chemical
>> formulae in math italic.  But if one is introducing units, the
>> introduction often doesn't have numbers to it (W = J / s), and
>> sometimes one forgets to put everything in math mode.
>>
>> I'm in the habit of \usepackage{isotope} now.  Is there a similar
>> package which allows for nicely typesetting values with units
>> (possibly with error estimates)?
>>
>> I hope everyone had a good Christmas.
>>
>> --
>> Thanks.
>> Gord
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