RE: Typographical treatment of GUI components

Subject: RE: Typographical treatment of GUI components
From: "David Chinell" <dchinell -at- msn -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 17:17:46 -0400


Thanks all for your replies. They've helped!

I conclude that there is ample authoritative support for
either position, but that this is probably of little import
compared to political power in such matters.

We (Tech Pubs) revisited our decision against giving GUI
elements any special treatment, and we still don't think
it's worthwhile. (Further, we've now established a large
body of work that would require gradual revision over
several years if we changed our style.)

As the department editor, it's good to know the writers are
solidly behind me on this decision, whether or not we're
overwhelmed by powerful novices.

It was also good to get some new (to me) ideas about
treatments that were less splotchy-looking that bolding.
(Italics, faces, I-caps.)

The following are my personal opinions, based on my personal
experiences as a reader. (Did I emphasize the personal
nature enough?)

I don't subscribe to the idea that an expert reader could
skim the bolded terms in a procedure. This sounds like a
good idea, but we don't read with our minds, we read with
our eyes. So good ideas don't always measure out as improved
readability. In other words, I've never skimmed that way.

I do think that in some cases we could save stumbling over
"natural language" labels by bolding or otherwise
distinguishing GUI elements. (Thanks for reminding me RGC.)
In other words, I have stumbled over long GUI element names,
trying to discover where the name ended and the discourse



sourcing tool for FrameMaker that lets you easily publish your content
online. No macro language required!

Mercer University's online MS Program in Technical Communication Management:
Preparing leaders of tomorrow's technical communication organizations today.
See or write George Hayhoe at hayhoe_g -at- mercer -dot- edu -dot-

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Typographical treatment of GUI components
Next by Author: Re: Nielsen frags PDF with misinformative Alertbox... AGAIN!
Previous by Thread: RE: Typographical treatment of GUI components
Next by Thread: RE: Typographical treatment of GUI components

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads