Why are descriptions capitalized?

Digi-Key description of a 10μF ceramic SMD capacitor:

  • CAP CER 10UF 10V X5R 0805

Digi-Key description of a THT resistor:

  • RES 10M OHM 1/4W 1% AXIAL

Is that 10mΩ or 10MΩ? (I know the answer, but I find it confusing.)

Is there a standard behind this capitalization?

In particular, I am wondering if I can copy and paste these descriptions into a BOM that I send to a manufacturer who is supposed to assemble my boards.

Hello @feklee,

There is no standardization for this capitalization outside of the Digi-Key website. We use this on our short descriptions to help in sorting parts on our site. You will see in the detailed description this is not done.

As for submitting your BOM with this description, I think you will be fine as long as it is sent with a Digi-Key / manufacturer part number. I would never suggest sending in a BOM with a description as short as " RES 10M OHM 1/4W 1% AXIAL" as it leaves too many variations available. Is this carbon, metal or Thick film?

Best would be Part Number CF14JT10M0TR-ND “RES 10M OHM 1/4W 1% AXIAL” it leaves no questions as to the part you need for your BOM.



Thanks for clarification!

Also thanks for your suggestion about being more specific. Specifying the Digi-Key part number, on the other hand, seems to be too specific. I think it makes sense to give the manufacturer some freedom in choosing certain standard components. That being said, I have never gone through the process of ordering assembled boards, so there is lots to learn.

I’ve seen incoming BOMs use a little bit of a longer description or standard notation to help clarify. It’d be a manual effort, but it would help clarify exactly what is needed. For example:

Instead of RES 10M OHM 1/4W 1% AXIAL, it could be noted as RES 10MEG OHM 1/4W 1% AXIAL or RES 0.010 OHM 1/4W 1% AXIAL.

Speaking of upper case woes… Another place I’ve seen this cause some havoc is when noting if something is in bit (lower case letter b) vs. byte (upper case letter B). Just something to keep in mind.

From wikipedia article (Byte - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia):

The symbol for “byte” is “B”. Sometimes a lowercase “b” is used, but this use is incorrect because “b” is actually the IEEE symbol for “bit”. The IEC symbol for bit is bit. For example, “MB” means “megabyte” and “Mbit” means “megabit”. The difference is important because 1 megabyte (MB) is 1,000,000 bytes, and 1 megabit (Mbit) is 1,000,000 bits or 125,000 bytes. It’s easy to confuse the two, but bits are much smaller than bytes, so the symbol “bit” should be used when referring to “bits” and an uppercase “B” when referring to “bytes”.


Thanks for the suggestions, but why use upper case in a BOM descriptions at all?


I don’t think it is about upper or lowercase as much as it is about making sure you have enough information to ensure you get the correct part. That is why we include a detailed description below the short description on all our product pages.

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It’s common to see backend software or systems which do not distinguish between case at all. To those systems there’s no difference between ‘B’ or ‘b’; the system sees only one case, which is typically the capital one. As such, common descriptions from those particular software packages come capitalized, and it’s mirrored on our website to match what customers commonly see.

At least, such has been my experience. It’s not a conscious decision people have deliberately made so much as it is a byproduct of how certain common software systems for tracking inventory work.


I was suspecting something like this, thanks!