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Effective: 12/1/1984

Revised: 9/15/2003

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[ASU logo] CAM 401–01: Uniform Format for Manuals


To describe the advantages of establishing a uniform format for manuals

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Academic and Administrative Documents

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Each manual in the system of administrative manuals at ASU follows a uniform format that enhances readability and visibility of organization.

The uniform format provides several advantages:

  1. it supplies an easily understood, logical plan for the organization of the material
  2. it encourages manual use because users become accustomed to its organization
  3. it allows users to easily access the content in multiple manuals without requiring them to learn, understand, and decipher multiple formats
  4. it helps users easily locate a given policy or procedure
  5. it ensures that pertinent related information is consistently provided to readers
  6. it contributes to the neatness of layout and appearance
  7. and

  8. it accommodates regular revision of the manual.

When revising policies, the uniform format helps the reviewer focus on one policy at a time. The uniform format enhances the visibility and accessibility of each topic.


Academic and Administrative Documents developed standards to achieve a uniform format for manuals, first in printed paper editions, and in a new format for the editions published on the Internet since 1998. The standards for printed paper editions are illustrated in the exhibits in this booklet.


Administrative manual binders are designed to accommodate 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper. They are three-ring, D-ring, notebook-style black vinyl binders with page lifters.

Each manual binder should be visually distinctive. When AAD published paper editions, each binder had a horizontal stripe across the center. The color of the stripe served as a visual cue in identifying manuals produced by different units. For example, the Staff Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual had a yellow stripe; the Purchasing and Business Services Policies and Procedures Manual, a green stripe. Similarly, the spine and cover bore an acronym for the manual (e.g., SPP, PUR), as well as the title of the manual and an ASU identifier.

These visual differences are carried to the appearance of the online manuals: for example, the SPP manual on the Web (at http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/spp/index.html) uses a yellow background for the acronym and in the horizontal bars that set off major headings.

Tab Dividers

Tab dividers assist the user in locating information easily. Five-cut, Mylar-reinforced tab dividers separate sections and, in some cases, subsections, within a manual.

Tab Dividers for Sections

Each tab divider for a section is printed front and back with the name of the section and its number. The background is black and the characters are white.

Tab Dividers for Subsections

For larger manual sections, tab dividers for subsections may be used. They are printed front and back with the name of the subsection only. The background is gray and the characters are white.


The paper used for printing manuals is 8 1/2-by-11-inch 20-pound bond. Each page bears a heading that includes an ASU logo as well as “POLICY AND PROCEDURE/ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY.” The heading also has boxes for information identifying the manual, the section within the manual in which the policy appears, and the policy subject, as well as its effective and revised dates and the page number (see CAM 402-01, “Uniform Format for Policies and Procedures”).

Type Style

Pages of text are printed in a 10-pitch serif type called Prestige Elite. Serif type, used throughout this booklet, has short lines stemming from the upper and lower ends of letters. It is considered the most readable type style.

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For information on the policy and procedure standard format, see CAM 402-01, “Uniform Format for Policies and Procedures.”

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Note:Please be advised that the policies and procedures used as examples in the CAM manual are often out of date and no longer applicable. They were chosen as examples when the CAM manual was revised in 1992. To access the current policies and procedures manuals, please go to http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals.

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