select and open

Subject: select and open
From: Scot <scot -at- HCI -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Fri, 5 May 1995 13:49:27 +1000

> Select and open the file to be converted.

> Now, I get very confused when I'm reading instructions like this. When
> I see 'select', I want it to be followed immediately by the thing I'm
> supposed to be selecting. I want to change this to

> Select the file to be converted, and open it.

Well, I think it depends on the operating system that you are describing.
For windows apps, I would tend to favour;

'Choose the file that you want to be converted'

*Choose* being a Microsoft-derived term (look in their manuals). We use it
in favour of 'click' (which implies a mouse). 'Choose' in this case subsumes
the many *different* ways you can actually choose things in Windows - e.g.
highlight and click ok/open, double click on filename, type the name in the
filename field and press enter, etc. I've found people use their own
preferred methods for this and resist changing to an unfamiliar method.

Another way I might phrase that would be;

'Highlight the file you want and choose OK'

I prefer 'highlight' because I think it tends to be more obvious to the user
- but it *is* action specific. Highlight and Choose are generally the only
action verbs I use in these contexts, although for other operating systems,
for example, X-window, I would use other terms common to the operating
system, e.g. Dismiss.

ciao, scot.

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