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>The trick is to determine what the user is being "allowed to do", and
>emphasize that action instead. In this case, the solution might be to
>replace the heading "explanation" with "function", and use dynamic verbs:
>instead of "lets you print reports", say "prints reports"; instead of "lets
>you alphabetize the data", try "sorts the database alphabetically".
A good point, with one minor caveat (I think I'm caveating, perhaps I'm doing
something else entirely...maybe I'm just kvetching).
Sometimes an option *does* *do* something--sort alphabetically, or print the
Widget report--without any additional user direction. For example, File|Close
Closes the file (and this is not a great example, cuz that option does prompt me
to decide to save my changes or not, but anyway...), but File|SaveAs Allows you
to save your work in a different location or a different format or a different
filename. So in a sense, File|SaveAs does *do* something--it prompts me to make
a decision, but it certainly doesn't do any file-saving activity w/o my input.
And while I'm kvetching, ya don't *know* how annoyed I get when told "File|Save
...Saves my file." Well, duh! Ya think I coulda figgered that out from the
option name? Perhaps you might want to point out, in case I'm brain-dead, that
File|SaveAs "Replaces the previous copy of the file with one containing your
latest changes" A trite example, sure, but ya don't *know* how peeved I get when
told the Flamboozle option lets me set the Flamboozle level. Flamboozle's got
levels? what are they? whadda they do? which one is right for me? How does the
Flamboozle option affect clams' knees?
ok, I'm veering from simple table descriptions into a vent about unhelpful Help
text, so I'll hush now.