Is there a more succinct way to say this?

Subject: Is there a more succinct way to say this?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: Technical Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Craig Cardimon <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 13:38:38 -0400

Craig Cardimon wondered: <<Is there a better way of saying, "Press
ENTER or click the OK button?" >>

The shorter way is "Press Enter or click OK". (Note that on most
keyboards, "Enter" isn't all caps.

However, how to deal with this depends on your overall approach to the
documentation. If you've decided that all steps must have both the
mouse command and the keyboard shortcut, you need both. But it's very
common (for a general audience) to present only the mouse commands, on
the logic that this will let everyone succeed, and that those who are
interested in keyboard shortucts will either know them already (e.g.,
will know how to activate standard menus and select menu choices using
Alt+letter commands) or will be willing to look them up in a special
cheat-sheet that you have provided. If you're willing to try that
"show only one way" approach, the simplest solution is just "Click OK".

For an audience that may include a significant number of naive users,
"Click the OK button." is better, because such users may think that
"click" refers to clicking the letters on the keyboard. No, really...
this kind of thing happens, at least according to a few tech support
staff I've talked to.

Geoff Hart (
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
Effective Onscreen Editing:


ComponentOne Doc-To-Help 2009 is your all-in-one authoring and publishing
solution. Author in Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word or
HTML and publish to the Web, Help systems or printed manuals.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

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.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:

Is there a more succinct way to say this?: From: Cardimon, Craig

Previous by Author: Grammar question?
Next by Author: What's wrong with Times New Roman? Nothing much, really.
Previous by Thread: RE: Is there a more succinct way to say this?
Next by Thread: Re: Is there a more succinct way to say this?

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

Sponsored Ads