Re: Studies on bolding

Subject: Re: Studies on bolding
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000 04:56:17 -0800

"David Chinell" <dchinell -at- msn -dot- com> writes:

>Can anyone point me to information or studies or discussions
about special
>typographic treatment for menu commands and dialog box names and
the like?
>I have the Microsoft Manual of Style. But I see different
companies giving
>these things different treatments.

Three points:

1.) Don't worry about what being what other companies are doing.
There are no real conventions in these issues. It doesn't matter
what convention you use so long as you use it consistently, so
that readers aren't confused.

2.) Many users (including me) have a hard time remembering a
bunch of conventions, so there's not much point in bothering with
them. They also tend to produce a typographic nightmare, with so
many different fonts, weights, and angles on the same page that
readers have a harder time focusing on the information that they
want to read.

3.) If you write instructions like "From the File menu, select
Save" or "The Pension Premium dialog box appears," you don't need
any special conventions. Capitalization looks just find, and
mirrors the on-screen instructions. The instructions are clearer,

Bruce Byfield, Product Manager, Stormix Technologies
Vancouver, BC, Canada

"Oceania is at war with EastAsia. Oceania has always been at war
with EastAsia."
- George Orwell, "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

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