Re: Correct Usage

Subject: Re: Correct Usage
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- marvin -dot- eng -dot- sun -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 09:52:29 -0700 (PDT)

Jo Francis Byrd [mailto:jbyrd -at- byrdwrites -dot- com] wrote:
>I am currently documenting a development tool with a CheckBox property. Spelled
>just like that. I would not, however, write "Select the whatis CheckBox." in
>user instructions, but rather, "Select the whatis check box."

I would do neither, but would use whatever the title of the
check box is: "Select Use Checkbox as One Word."

We try to avoid naming interface objects unless the user really
needs to know the distinction. For example, we only say "pull-down
menu" if there are other kinds of menus in the same interface. We
only say "check box" if there are other options that are named
similarly to the check box on which the user needs to perform the
action. We also do not use quotation marks or other typographic
distinctions for things in the GUI.

And while we're at it (can you tell this is a hot button of
mine? :-> ), I'm trying to break my writers of saying things
like "Choose File->Print to display the Print dialog box." The
user is not aiming to display the dialog box. ("Oh, look, what
a cool dialog box"). They just want to print: "1. Choose File->Print.
2. Select the print options and click OK."

Thanks, I feel better now...


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