RE: Procedural syntax: "Click to expand" vs. "Expand by clicking"

Subject: RE: Procedural syntax: "Click to expand" vs. "Expand by clicking"
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "Martinek, Carla" <CMartinek -at- zebra -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 09:51:06 -0500

Carla Martinek wrote...

> Option B, revised to active voice:
> [B] To expand the folder, click the plus sign.
> Yves Barbion wrote:
> > Hello techwhirlers,
> >
> > just wondering, which do you prefer (and why):
> >
> > [A] Click the plus sign to expand the folder.
> >
> > OR
> >
> > [B] Expand the folder by clicking the plus sign.
> >

Okay I'm going to answer [B] to Yves original query, but I have to
quibble a bit with the proposed revision. I think the alternative
offered actually makes the command _more_ passive. "Expand the folder"
is an active and direct phrase. Someone else responded to Yves that
"Expand" is stronger and more direct than the "Click" that begins option
[A] and I fully agree.

If you turn that active command around by making "Expand" an infinitive
"To expand," it dilutes and diminishes the direction to the user. Sorry
to quibble, but in this particular case the phrasing Yves suggested is
more direct and active than the proposed revision.

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