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I am currently documenting one of our web-based applications. On several of
the pages in the application, the user can click on an icon next to a field
on a page to open a (pop-up window, dialog box, list) from which to make a
selection. When the user makes a selection in this (pop-up window, dialog
box, list) and then clicks Select (Select appears as a button in this pop-up
window, dialog box, list), the (pop-up window, dialog box, list) closes, and
the user returns to the page in the browser. The field is populated with
the user's selection.
This is my question - in a windows environment, when a user clicks on an
icon/button, I have no problem referring to the object that opens as a
dialog box. In a browser environment, however, I am debating. . .
Is the term "dialog box" windows specific or can it be used for a browser
application as well? I have looked up the definition of a pop-window, and
several definitions have in common this theme:
A window that suddenly appears (pops up) when you select an option with a
mose or press a special function key or keys. Usually, the pop-up window
contains a menu of commands and stays on the screen only until you select
one of the commands.
Well, for my case, the object that I am trying to describe does not contain
a menu of commands. It is a list from which the user can make one or more
selections, and then must click Select to close the object and return to the
So, for now, I am writing something like:
1.) Click the Search icon next to the Study Subject field to open the Study
Subject Search dialog box.
2.) In the Study Subject Search dialog box, select the correct subject. (You
can CTRL/click to select multiple subjects).
3.) Click Select. The Study Subject Search dialog box closes. You return to
the < > page with the Study Subject search field populated with your
Would it just be better to say Click the Search icon to open a Study Subject
Search list or ???
Tammy Van Boening
Senior Technical Writer
tammy -dot- vanboening -at- netregulus -dot- com
Keep smiling - at least until you get your own way.
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