The definitions of some terms to describe the distribution pattern of micromorphological components are given and discussed. Five existing schemes for the characterization of related distribution patterns in soil micromorphology are summarized in a table, compared and evaluated. The replacement of the terms "related distribution pattern" by microfabric and "fabric sequence" by fabric groups are suggested. A scheme based on existing terminology and augmented with new terms to describe the hitherto neglected poorly structured soils is proposed. Four fabric groups are drawn from existing terminology, namely iunctic and chlamydic for coarse-matrix, and fragmic and matrigranic for fine-matrix fabrics. Two new fabric groups, namely planvic and equanvic, are proposed to describe poorly structured soils according to the shapes and volumes of voids. The six fabric groups are arranged in a synoptic diagram to illustrate a comprehensive classification of soil microfabrics. A dichotomous key to aid fabric identification is provided. Use of standardized short forms for fabric names is suggested. Copyright © 1988 Published by Elsevier B.V.