RE: WG: Newbie question - GUI terminology

Subject: RE: WG: Newbie question - GUI terminology
From: "James Barrow" <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2006 06:03:06 -0700

>Dick Margulis said:
>>Christine Hüttmann wrote:

>>We are currently translating an online Help into English and have a couple
>>of questions. Any help from experienced writers is much appreciated.
>>1) Does a dialogue box, window or message box appear or open?

>It's "dialog," not "dialogue box" (by general convention), and I prefer
>"open" for at least windows and dialogs, although some people prefer
>"appear." I'm not sure what the popularity breakdown is on message boxes
>(called that in internal development documents but just called messages
>in end user doc). I tend to use "pops up" for a message box, but I may
>not be speaking for a majority on that one.

When I first began tech writing, a senior tech writer edited some of my
material and, wherever I used "appear", he crossed that out and added
"NEVER!". I still don't understand what the major faux pas was on that one.
Nowadays I use "open" when print/open/search windows appear. Small
confirmation message, etc. are called pop-ups.

>>2) What is the button next to the "Look in" box, for example, called?
>>Is it a toolbar button although there is no "toolbar" or is it a tool

>Are you talking about a Browse button, perhaps?

I'm looking at a standard Windows "Open" dialog box and I'm wondering if
you're referring to the down-arrow button that displays the dropdown menu.

>>There a different types of this button, e.g. a button with a calendar.
>>When you click on it a calendar "opens (appears) where you can select a
>>date. The Microsoft Manual of Style is not very helpful here (I also
>>doubt that Microsoft's recommendations should be followed strictly).

>Or are you talking about a button with an ellipsis (...) on it? I would
>give the button a name that reflects its purpose and show a picture of
>it somewhere. For example, if the ellipsis button opens the calendar
>control, I'd call it the Calendar button. If it opens a color picker,
>I'd call it the Color Picker button.

If it's what I think it is, check this:

Are you talking about the down-arrow button on the
"Validate my identity as follows" field?


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Re: WG: Newbie question - GUI terminology: From: Dick Margulis

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