Typing vs. pressing vs. entering

Subject: Typing vs. pressing vs. entering
From: Jim Grey <jwg -at- ACD4 -dot- ACD -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 1994 09:07:30 -0500

Judith Grobe Sachs brought up this whole type v. enter thing. This was a
major fight inside this (then three-person) Technical Writing Department
about three years ago.

One writer wanted to "type" everything:

Type RECALL. By convention, all commands UPPER.
Type a CTRL-X.
Type a <return>. <return> = return key
Type "george" in the field.

His argument that the word "type" always means to press and release one
or more keys or a key combination, and that using one term for all forms
of keyboard interaction was the clearest way to go. He wrote an excellent
argument for this convention, which I can't find.

I prefer:

Press CTRL-X.
Press <return>.
Type "george" in the field.

This is all based on using manuals for years before writing them. I had
come to learn that:

- "enter" means type the indicated word and then press <return>
- "press" means to press and release a key or key combination
- "type" means to press and release one or more keys in sequence but
specifically does *not* include pressing <return> when done

Either way, though, a user beyond the parrot level ought to know that
CTRL-X, ^X, Control X, etc. all mean the same thing: press and hold
the control key, type X, release the control key. That user ought also
to know that <return> or any graphic that looks like a return key means
the return key, not the six letters r e t u r n. I claim that it's
mostly parrot users that have trouble with this stuff. Our users are
at least computer-literate.

jim grey
jim grey |"Ain't nothin' better in the world, you know
jwg -at- acd4 -dot- acd -dot- com |Than lyin' in the sun, listenin' to the radio" - D. Boone
jimgrey -at- delphi -dot- com|GO/M d p+ c++(-) l u+ e- m*@ s+/ n+ h f++ g- w+@ t+ r- y+(*)
|ACD, Terre Haute, IN -- The Silicon Cornfield

Previous by Author: Portfolios
Next by Author: Re: Online constructions
Previous by Thread: Re: Don't should on me
Next by Thread: Re: "they" and a bit...

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

Sponsored Ads