Re: Describing buttons and fields

Subject: Re: Describing buttons and fields
From: Jan Henning <henning -at- r-l -dot- de>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 09:19:18 +0100

I wouldn't use quotation marks for GUI items. We only
use them in cross-references to chapters and sections.
I also recommend not using any kind of alternate font
treatment (like bold) for GUI items, as your procedures
then start to look like a ransom note. Just make sure
that your engineers use initial capitals for button and
field names and that should be sufficient to distinguish
them in steps,

This doesn't always work. Especially checkbox labels are sometimes too long to work well in initial caps. Furthermore, the initial caps style is not appropriate in some languages, e.g., German and French.

It works quite well for me to italicize GUI labels. Using italics instead of bolding helps to avoid visually breaking up the text.

For consistency's sake, I also italicize short button names such as Cancel or OK where it wouldn't be strictly necessary.

Jan Henning

Jan Henning
Am Schlossberg 14, D-82547 Eurasburg, Germany

Phone: +49 700 0200 0700, Fax: +49 8179 9307-12
E-Mail: henning -at- r-l -dot- de, Web:


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Re: Describing buttons and fields: From: Janice Gelb

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