Prefixes, Italics and Superscript/Subscript


This guide explains how to set preferences for:

To start, open the Style Sheet Editor.


By default, PerfectIt checks a list of around 60 non-English terms for consistent use of italics. Since some styles prefer italics for the first appearance only, PerfectIt will only suggest there is an inconstency when the word appears both with and without italics, and either the first location is not italicized or more than one location is italicized.

The options available in the Italics tab are:

  • Consistency (this is the default setting)

  • No italics

  • Always in italics

  • Italics for first use only

  • Do not check

You can also add additional words to the list to check. Below is the Italics tab:

The Italics tab

To change the term ‘a priori’ from checking consistency, find the term in the list, then click the dropdown next to The phrase should be. Choose, for example, Always in Italics, then click Apply. PerfectIt will now find all locations where that word is not italicized and suggest a fix.

To add a new term to the list to check, type the term in the box next to PerfectIt should look for the phrase. Then set the preference in the dropdown and click Add.


To provide extra guidance for the user, you can (optionally) add a style note by typing it in the Style Notes column.


The list of prefixes that PerfectIt checks in the Compound Words check works in the same way as the list of italics. For example, by default, PerfectIt checks the prefix ‘anti’ for consistency. It will suggest there could be an error if the words ‘anti-bullying’ and ‘anti aircraft’ appear in the same document since one is hyphenated and the other is not. The available options are:

  • Consistency

  • With hyphen

  • With space

  • Closed

  • Do not test

As with italics, you can also add additional prefixes to the list and set preferences for each of those.

The Prefixes tab

Superscript and Subscript

As for italics and prefixes, PerfectIt is pre-loaded with a list of common chemical symbols and SI units. The Superscript/Subscript tab is shown in the screenshot below:

The Superscript/Subscript tab

The chemical elements in the list are, by default, ones that often have subscripts. For example, ‘H20’ could be presented as ‘H20’. The SI units included are, by default, ones that have superscripts. For example, ‘g2’ could be presented as ‘g2‘. PerfectIt will check for these standard preferences. However, you can use this tab to add items to the list or to change what is looked for in each case.