dot the i's and cross the t's, to

dot the i's and cross the t's

To do something carefully and make sure that every last minor detail is completed. Please make sure to dot the i's and cross the t's when signing this contract. I made sure to dot the i's and cross the t's when installing the circuit breaker—you can never be too careful with electrical work.
See also: and, cross, dot

dot the i's and cross the t's

Be meticulous and precise, fill in all the particulars, as in Laura had dotted all the i's and crossed the t's, so she wondered what she'd done wrong . This expression presumably began as an admonition to schoolchildren to write carefully and is sometimes shortened. William Makepeace Thackeray had it in a magazine article ( Scribner's Magazine, 1849): "I have . . . dotted the i's." [Mid-1800s]
See also: and, cross, dot

dot the i's and cross the t's

If you dot the i's and cross the t's, you make sure that all the details of something are correct. The two sides are close to a basic agreement. Dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's may take some time, however. Unless all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed, a contract is not likely to be enforced. Note: In old-fashioned styles of handwriting, you write a word with one movement of your pen, and then go back and add the dot to any i's and the cross-strokes to any t's.
See also: and, cross, dot

dot the i's and cross the t's

ensure that all details are correct. informal
See also: and, cross, dot

dot the i's and cross the t's, to

To be precise and meticulous. The source of this expression, it is alleged, is the possibility of confusing these letters if they are carelessly penned, and presumably it began as an admonition to schoolchildren and/or scribes. It was soon transferred to other affairs, and has been a cliché since the late nineteenth century.
See also: and, cross, dot