Re: click on, select, choose

Subject: Re: click on, select, choose
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 1994 16:58:42 -0800

Michael Priestley writes:

> Ned Beninger writes:
> > boredom. While I do recognize the usage and longevity of
> > the various terms and specialized meanings (select, choose, etc),
> > I cannot find any reason to prefer them over 'click'. When I

> If the only way to perform the action is with the mouse, then I agree,
> "click" is the most appropriate term. If, however, there is a way to perform
> the act with the keyboard (and there usually is), then "click" is an
> term.

> I use "select" because I can't be sure my reader is using the mouse: they
> could be using the keyboard, or have their system set up for voice
> etc. So, I tell the reader to "select" menu choices, buttons, and so on.

I agree with using "select" for menu items (only because I feel that the
word "choose" subvocalizes poorly). However, I fought hard and won against
using "select" for command buttons in my last position where we were documenting
an application development system. To me, the word "select" can be (mis)con-
strued as simply setting the focus to the button, not actually activating it (as
in "select the button to be relocated and drag it to the new position"
example off the top of my head).

Of course, any standard that you set and stick to should work for your users
once they get used to it, but I prefer "selecting" menu items, "clicking"
command buttons, radio buttons, etc., and "pressing" keys. Users can then
differentiate between keyboard and screen elements and menu items quite easily.

Sue Gallagher
StarBase Corp, Irvine, CA
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com

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