FW: Mac/Window button names

Subject: FW: Mac/Window button names
From: "Kathi Jan Knill" <Kathi -dot- Knill -at- level8 -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 14:07:10 -0500

~~Are the users of certain operating systems smarter than the users of

How does using an operating system make someone smart or dumb? What does
it have to do with intelligence?
I think someone has forgotten that there are novice through expert users in
factions of computers. A person who has just started using computers and who
using a MAC, is no less intelligent than one who chooses to use Windows.
the new MAC user (who is really a novice computer person) may not know
about Windows. And vice versa.
A person can be extremely intelligent and have no knowledge of computers at
all. For instance, my father has a Ph.D. in Physics and is one of the
smartest people I know, yet he still uses a very old computer (which I might
add took him years to accept) and will only work with DOS. We all know that
updated software generally needs Windows to run. So, my dad gets Windows
(3.0, why come in to the present after all?!) and figures out how to use the
new program based on his common sense intelligence.
It is not rocket science.
Now, back to the original question, I think if you are writing to users of
different operating systems, you choose one to use in your examples, and you
can mention up front that although different Operating Systems can be used,
the doc will use blah, blah for its examples. Remind the reader that if they
are using an alternate OS, their screens and buttons may look different, but
are generally found in the same location as the illustration.
If you really think the other users won't be able to understand, you could
always put some kind of appendix together that lists the words for each
system that are different (using for example Save and OK). But I personally
think that is overkill.

just my $.02
Kathi Jan Knill
Sr. Technical Writer
Level 8 Systems
Kathi -dot- Knill -at- Level8 -dot- com
The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain. ~
John F. Kennedy ~

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