Re: Click X, or click the X button?

Subject: Re: Click X, or click the X button?
From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, jennysubs -at- mac -dot- com
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2009 13:37:36 -0700 (PDT)

Typing "click X" takes fewer keystrokes than typing "click the X button."

However, I guess I'm self-destructive. My personal preference is to use the phrase "click on the X button."

My rationale: there may be more than one control visible labeled "X" - I've seen that on poorly designed UIs. So the user may have times when there is an X button and an X menu. The explicitness of "click on the X button" tells the user exactly what to look for. If you just write "click X," there will be users who will think, "the X what?" Some users will have that problem even if there aren't redundant control labels. Also (minor quibble time), the mouse button is what you're actually touching, so you you click the mouse button, but you click when the pointer is *on* the screen control.

If I'm worried about the number of keystrokes, I use a macro or autotext to plug in the phrase, so all I really have to type is the control label.


--- On Thu, 10/22/09, jennysubs -at- mac -dot- com <jennysubs -at- mac -dot- com> wrote:

> From: jennysubs -at- mac -dot- com <jennysubs -at- mac -dot- com>
> Subject: Click X, or click the X button?
> To: "techwr-l List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Date: Thursday, October 22, 2009, 3:37 PM
> How do you describe button actions?
> Does it make a difference if 
> you're writing online help vs. print/PDF?
>
> I was trained to use the full "click the XYZ button," but
> recent style 
> seems to be "Click XYZ."
>
> The 2004 Microsoft Style Guide says to use Click the X
> button, except 
> for OK and Save. The 2008 Apple style guide shows both
> types, but 
> mostly seems to use Click the X button in its examples.
>
> That was the style guides.  I also did a quick look
> through some help 
> and PDF files on both Windows and the Mac.  Here are
> my data points:
>
> The Mac help style is definitely Click X.
> Frame help is Click X.
> Word Help is Click X.
> Microsoft XP Pro system help is mostly Click X.
> PDF manuals for Apple iLife apps typically use Click the X
> button.
> PDF for Frame 9 uses both, although it's usually consistent
> within the 
> section.
>
> Just wondering...
>
> Jenny
>
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers
> developing Table of
> Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as
> Doc-To-Help 
> 2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
> http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/
>
> 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! http://www.helpandmanual.com/
>
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

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! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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References:
Click X, or click the X button?: From: jennysubs

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