Need another word for "enterable"?

Subject: Need another word for "enterable"?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 14:25:47 -0500

Bill Hartzer wondered <<A techy SME type insists that "enterable" is an
acceptable term for use in technical documentation.>>

Not in my lexicon; "enterable" means capable of being entered", but that
meaning is too vague to be useful to a reader: can the person enter the
field by tabbing to it or clicking the mouse in the field (and then
subsequently do something) or do they need to press the Enter key (to
"enter" the data into a database or some such) after mucking about with the

<<I'd like to use something else, but can't come up with anything. Here's an
example: All enterable fields should have a white background.>>

"Should" is also a bad choice of words. If it means that "they should be
highlighted this, but some of them probably won't be", then the correct word
is "may". If it's an instruction to interface designers (e.g., "make sure
you do it this way"), then it would be clearer to say "must have a white
background". As noted above, how to replace "enterable" depends on what
you're trying to say. Two options might be "All fields in which you/users
can input data have a white background" or "All fields that are ready to
submit for processing (by pressing Enter) are highlighted with a white
background." Something like that, modified to reflect your actual meaning,
should work.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Hofstadter's Law: The time and effort required to complete a project are
always more than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's

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