This is a detail, but in some instances I don't know right away how words from the world of TeX & friends are properly capitalized. While it's not necessary or "acceptable" to edit a post only to fix capitalization (unless it's near the top of the active questions anyways), capitalization often gets fixed along with other things (cf. When is it (and isn't) acceptable to edit?). Hence, I thought it'd be good to have a reference here to come back to.

I'll start with one CW answer with categories of terms and preferably a source of the capitalization.

To add on the motivation behind this a bit: A part of the Stack Exchange model that I really like is its Wiki aspect. Not only do we help people solve their actual problems, but we also build up a database of knowledge for everybody to access. Decently understandable language and proper capitalization just underline the professional and high-quality impression that tex.sx has, which can really make it stand out from other web sites on the world wide webz.

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1 Answer

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Engines & Formats

When one of these names is used as an instruction on a command line, it is almost always lowercase and in code markup, e.g., tex foo.tex, latex bar.tex, etc.

Distributions & Bundles

Editors and Reference Managers

Miscellaneous

  • BaKoMa TeX / BaKoMa TeX Word (source)
  • latexmk [capitalized like a regular noun, i.e. with a capital L at the beginning of a sentence] (source)

Packages

Packages usually are all lowercase. On tex.sx, we tend to put them in code markup, e.g. hyperref (the source for this being `hyperref`).

Special cases are the KOMA-Script (source) packages and classes, which have a proper name, used for referring to them as a whole, and the TikZ (source) part of the TikZ/pgf system for producing graphics, and the SIunits and SIstyle packages, which capitalise SI as it refers to the Système international d'unités. Also notice that biblatex is written all lower-case except at the start of a sentence: i.e. it behaves like a 'normal' package (source).

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Could someone add a category about TeX, LaTeX etc. themselves, taking into consideration the distinction between format and compilation tool? I'm not sure I could find the right wording for that. –  doncherry Apr 6 '12 at 9:40
    
added section on engines & formats. hope i got most of them in the desired format; not sure what to use as a source for TeX itself (maybe it doesn't really need one?). –  barbara beeton Apr 6 '12 at 14:34
    
@AlanMunn -- i really did mean that ams-latex should be subsidiary to latex; it's not necessary -- and it's a great bother -- to load it as a format. maybe it should just be listed as an "exception" under packages? –  barbara beeton Apr 6 '12 at 20:10
    
@barbarabeeton Oh, sorry, I've put it back then. –  Alan Munn Apr 6 '12 at 20:16
    
@Joseph But would you write Biblatex at the beginning of a sentence? The page you’re linking to doesn’t put biblatex in code markup, so capitalizing it works, put code markup and capitalization isn’t a good idea imho. –  doncherry Aug 23 '13 at 18:39
    
@doncherry I tend to avoid writing package names at the start of sentences as a matter of course, to avoid this (applies to any package). So I'd favour with 'The biblatex package ...'. My point was that it's not anything like 'BibTeX'. –  Joseph Wright Aug 23 '13 at 18:50
    
@JosephWright, so “The Biber/Biblatex system is invoked via the biblatex package”? –  J. C. Salomon Oct 8 '13 at 18:54
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