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The titles of freestanding works (books, movies, plays, albums, etc.) are italicized; smaller parts within these works (chapters in a book, articles in a magazine, songs within an album) are not (they are put in quotes, instead).

How are software titles treated?

My understanding is that if a particular program resembles a book or a dramatic work (like a video game), its title is italicized -- otherwise, it is treated as a proper noun, just like any other product.

I played Grand Theft Auto, instead of reading "Democracy in Ancient Greece" in Microsoft Encarta and preparing my presentation in PowerPoint.

Is this approach correct?

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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It depends on the style guide you're following.

Wikipedia says yes:

Italic type (text like this) is generally used for the following categories of titles:

...

  • Works of art and artifice

    Computer and video games (but not other software)

The Guardian says no:

Use roman for titles of books, films, etc
...
Use italics for foreign words and phrases (with roman translation in brackets)

National Geographic says yes:

The following are printed in italic type without quotation marks:
...
2. Titles of the following:
...
Computer software and CD-ROM and other multimedia product titles
(except applications programs such as WordPerfect)

Take your pick, and be consistent.

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