Re. Toolbar button

Subject: Re. Toolbar button
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 08:50:57 LCL

If the defaults are already filled in, why not simply label
the default button "Accept current values", "OK",
"Continue", etc.? If you specifically want a graphic, use a
tickmark (Borland uses a large green tick in Paradox if you
want to see a good example.)

If you instead want to _restore_ default settings that the
user has mutilated inadvertently, how about "Reset values",
"Standard settings", "Original settings", or the like? For
a graphic, you could use something like a small curved line
(concave down) with an arrowhead that loops back from the
right side of the button to the left side. Place a small
greyed out icon such as a number or letter (if that's the
defaults that are being replaced) on the left of the button
and a solid version of the same icon but with different
data on the right: the idea would be that the solid is the
current version, the grey is the one that got replaced. If
that looks too abstract, replace the greyed icon with a
solid version covered by a big X to show it was replaced.

Notes: The graphics I proposed look like they should work
just fine at SVGA resolution in CC:Mail; with VGA, you'd do
even better. For various cultures, such as in the middle
East, you'd have to reverse the arrow direction because
they read the opposite direction; I'm also not sure if the
tick mark is universal.

If the proposed text labels seem long, so be it. Nothing is
more annoying than a tiny, cryptic button that nobody
understands simply because the programmer used the default
values. If you're stuck with a microscopic icon because
your programmers are too busy to use custom icon sizes, put
the text outside the icon; run it to the right (left in the
middle east) if you have a vertical row of icons; if
there's no room, show the meaning in a status line at the
bottom of the screen when the cursor passes over the icon.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.

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