Re: Pointing device question

Subject: Re: Pointing device question
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 21:30:17 +1000

From: "Chris Morton"

>I'm documenting a medical device that uses a trackball, mounted to an

>integrated keyboard, to manipulate a biopsy needle. There are times when

>trackball is used for navigation and targeting much like one would use a

>joystick in a game.


My view is that a trackball that is mounted into a keyboard is not a mouse
at all. To me, a mouse is a hand-held device that rolls or slides on a
surface. An integrated trackball rolls, but remains stationary.

A mouse is a pointing device, but not all pointing devices are mice (mouses
if you prefer). Is a joystick a mouse? I don't think so. Neither is a
keyboard-integrated trackball.

However, if that is an established usage among your audience, and they are
accustomed to referring to the trackball as a mouse even though it isn't,
then your first priority must be to avoid confusing them by suddenly using
different terms. Still, I can't think calling trackball a trackball instead
of a trackball mouse would confound them in any serious way.

But those are the people you should ask, I think.

Mike West

Melbourne, Australia


ComponentOne Doc-To-Help gives you everything you need to author and
publish quality Help, Web, and print content. Perfect for technical
authors, developers, and policy writers. Download a FREE trial.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: "and then," or simply "then"?
Next by Author: Re: Using FrameMaker for More Than Tech Writing
Previous by Thread: RE: Pointing device question
Next by Thread: Re: Pointing device question

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

Sponsored Ads