RE: Correct Usage

Subject: RE: Correct Usage
From: Doug Van Dorn <dvandorn -at- gearworks -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 13:29:24 -0500

"Except that I would also put whatever "whatis" is in quotes, and capitalize
it if it's capitalized in the GUI, etc. This is to point out that there is
actually something called that, and that it is available to the user's eye.
The quotes are so that I don't need to use either italics, which I avoid, or
bolding, which I avoid like the plague."

Yes, you have a point, when "quoting" something that simply appears in a
GUI. However, when you are referencing entries to be made by a user, quote
marks are dangerous. I don't know how many times I have had inquiries from
users (in help desk situations and such) with lines like "Yes, I typed in
EXACTLY what it says in the manual" and it turns out they included the quote

Remember, all you're doing is visually differentiating text to indicate a
special quality, either that it represents something in the GUI or that it
represents an entry the user must/should make. The way to do that is to
make the reader's eye slow down, and that truly can be accomplished with
italics and/or bolding as well as with quotation marks. Just because it's a
pain in the butt for you to format doesn't mean it's an invalid option that
needs to be avoided "like the plague."

Doug Van Dorn
Gearworks, Inc.
Minneapolis, MN


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