Re: what to call that button that has an ellipse [...] on it

Subject: Re: what to call that button that has an ellipse [...] on it
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 11:36:55 -0500

Well, first, the punctuation mark ? is an ellipsis, not an ellipse (in case you end up calling it by its name somewhere in the documentation). The plural is spelled ellipses (pronounced ee-lip'-seas), the same as the plural of ellipse (the geometric shape).

But, even though, to my chagrin, our own software documentation refers to it as the ellipsis button (hey, Garison, ya listenin'?), I agree with you that it is an unsatisfactory name, if only because 99% of the population never learned the name of the punctuation mark. Most people just say (and type) dot dot dot.

One approach is just to insert a graphic of the button whenever you want to refer to it. Generally, I'm not a fan of button graphics peppering the page, though; so having a clear, intuitively understood name for the thing would be good.

Let's think about the semantics of the ellipsis. Grammatically, it represents an omission, but that's not what we're looking for. In a user interface, it generally carries the meaning "more." Do you think we could get away with calling it the _more_ button? Or would people always be looking for a button with the word _more_ on it? How about the "more (?)" button?



>I'm documenting some software, and want to describe what the "ellipse" [...]
>button does. (As is true of most "ellipse" buttons -- or buttons containing
>ellipses like [Setup...] -- clicking it gets you "more info" or "more
>options" or whatever.)

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