Whether it’s a business letter, e-mail or presentation: Your written documents should make a good impression. That’s why even the small details matter – because only then will you stand out from the competition.
If you work according to DIN Standards, you are as good as guaranteed a head start. Only at Beuth can you get the original: the DIN 5008 writing and design rules (for German) for text and information processing, laid down by the responsible standards committee and relevant for examinations led by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK).
What does a correct business letter look like in German? How do you write telephone numbers and bank account numbers in German? Can I use emoticons? And what about gender-sensitive language? Office workers ask themselves questions like these and many others every day when they want to write and format texts in business and office communication. Reliable answers are provided by DIN 5008, the standard for text layout in German. This standard work is now available in a new edition – updated and expanded.
In view of the numerous aspects that have to be taken into account when it comes to spelling and the layout of different data and documents in German, office workers are constantly faced with stumbling blocks. After all, who wants to embarrass themselves in important correspondence with a mistake, no matter how small? Standards and rules play a central role in business and the workplace.
In Germany, DIN 5008 has played a role in business correspondence for decades. The experts in the Information Technology and DIN Standards Committee Information Technology and selected IT Applications (NIA) at the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) keep the standard up-to-date. They incorporate their practical experience into the rules in order to enable uniform communication within the German-speaking area. DIN 5008 has long been a classic, its history dating back to the 1920s. Over the decades, there have been repeated updates, for example in the transition from the typewriter to the PC.
For office workers who do not want to think long and hard about right or wrong in every case of doubt in business and office communication, or who do not want to resort to questionable Internet sources, DIN 5008 offers a practical decision-making aid with the rules for writing and layout for text and information processing in German. The standard is a basic working tool that presents the rules in a clear and understandable way - on topics such as punctuation and characters, terms, numbers, measurements and formulae, tables and diagrams or the structure and layout of letters. The recommendations not only apply to external correspondence, but can also be applied to internal communication. Of course, DIN 5008 does not specify what should be written, but only how it can be written as comprehensibly and clearly as possible.
The updated edition contains important new features: DIN 5008 now includes recommendations on file storage for folder structures and their uniform naming. This ensures that documents can be found more easily and quickly. The detailed "Annex F" provides information on typographically demanding texts and deviating rules, for example for flyers or elaborately designed annual reports. Anyone who has doubts about whether and how to use emoticons (and emojis) in business correspondence or how to use gender-sensitive language correctly will also find what they are looking for. Clear rules for the many cases of doubt (such as whether there is a space in the abbreviation "z. B." = “e.g.” or the correct placement of the academic title before the name) are also listed. Numerous practical application examples with illustrations in the annex as well as a table of contents for easy keyword searching make the standard a handbook for everyday use when writing in German.
DIN 5008 is not too complex to use successfully in daily work or vocational training: Users can access the individual chapters clearly and quickly and therefore apply the rules easily in their hectic daily business life. The standard rules are aimed generally and neutrally at a wide circle of German-speaking users; these rules will increase significantly in the course of digitalization. Such users include employees of companies and organizations, administration, science or publishing houses. Among them are trainees as well as experienced colleagues in the office.
They all benefit from numerous advantages: Even though DIN 5008 is not a legal regulation but a recommendation, this set of rules has a high degree of binding force in Germany. It provides the necessary confidence to write and design German texts and information in a simple, understandable and compliant way. Employees thus demonstrate their professional competence and diligence. This starts with job applications: If you design them according to the rules, you've often already scored a plus point - and not just in office jobs.
Of course, the reader also benefits from DIN 5008: Thanks to a clear structure and uniform rules, business and office communication documents can be comprehended faster and better. Those who have comparable documents in their hands through standards and know immediately where to find which important information save a lot of time.
In and between companies, a flawless presentation significantly supports the processing of information - for example, when address fields comply with the postal service's specifications and can thus be captured automatically. DIN 5008 has long been widely accepted among German-speaking businesses and the public sector. Common correspondence is compatible if everyone uses the same basis.
Just as an office worker makes a positive impression with this professional design in their written presentation, companies, organizations and administration therefore also make a good impression thanks to DIN 5008. Consistency in all documents is a sign of quality and creates trust.
DIN 5008 is published exclusively by Beuth Verlag (in German only) – as the original standard and as a low-priced offprint.