Re: Typographical treatment of GUI components

Subject: Re: Typographical treatment of GUI components
From: "Richard G. Combs" <richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 11:55:26 -0600

David Chinell wrote:

> Does anyone have any information to support (or not) bolding
> GUI component names in printed reference manuals or Help
> systems?

As various responders have made clear, there are advantages and
disadvantages. It makes the page look rather busy. OTOH, it makes it easier
to skim a procedure.

I resisted bolding GUI components for a long time (sometimes winning and
sometimes losing that argument). I finally embraced bolding when I began
encountering interfaces with sentence case (or all lower case), "natural
language" labels.

This kind of step works fine without bolding:

From the Output list, choose...

But this one? I think the component label begs for some kind of typographic

From the Select an output format list, choose...

I prefer bold to italic. For one thing, it's easier to read on line.
Quotation marks? Yuck! :-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Voyant Technologies, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT voyanttechDOTcom
rgcombs AT freeDASHmarketDOTnet


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