RE: Click X, or click the X button?

Subject: RE: Click X, or click the X button?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 10:03:54 -0400

Regarding pictures of buttons and 'cognitive load' and other stuff that's come up, I was just wondering...
Does anybody have a problem with what I do?

I use a single convention for click or press actions, with perhaps a little text to indicate where the clickable or pressable thingie is to be found, and then only if it isn't already apparent from the context.

Click [Back] if you wish to change any item in the summary.

Click [Next] to confirm the settings in the summary.

Insert the blue Security Officer PED Key and press [Enter] on the PED keypad.

Press [<] on the PED keypad to go to the PED main menu, then press [7] for the Remote menu.

It's easy to pick out of a page or paragraph, it's easy and quick to type, it doesn't add any graphic load to the document, it seems reasonably unmistakable in intent, since it's always accompanied by a verb like "click" or "press".

The only other place that I habitually use square brackets is for options in command-line syntax, and it's pretty-much self-evident that no clicking or pressing is being invoked in that context.


Other than the fact that it's not recommended in this-or-that style guide, would anybody have trouble getting the meaning, or be confused if they encountered "Click [Next]" or "Press [Yes] on the PED keypad" in a help page, with no 'Typographical conventions' page nearby to explain the mystery?

- Kevin

The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected
from disclosure. If you have received this communication in
error, please notify us immediately by replying to this
message and deleting it from your computer without copying
or disclosing it.


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.

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:


RE: Click X, or click the X button?: From: Claudine CHAUSSON

Previous by Author: RE: Export controls (was RE: Documentation confidentiality level policy )
Next by Author: RE: Click X, or click the X button?
Previous by Thread: RE: Click X, or click the X button?
Next by Thread: RE: Click X, or click the X button?

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

Sponsored Ads