Re: Click, Choose, and Select (the hilarious comedy team of)

Subject: Re: Click, Choose, and Select (the hilarious comedy team of)
From: Karen_Mayer -dot- TOUCH_TECHNOLOGY -at- NOTES -dot- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996 15:46:30 EST

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At CText, we take this distinction a step further. Here are some
terminological ideas that seem to work for us. In procedures:

- We use "Click" only for things that can be done _only_ with the mouse
(there are a few).

- "Choose/choice" is something (that) you do in your head.

- "Select/selection" is something (which) you do with the s/w.


Additional terminological conventions that work for us:

- We don't "perform" functions or "carry out" tasks, we DO things.
Even better, we just use the specific name of the task (SAVE, MOVE,

- We never "hit," "strike," "mash," or "depress" keys. We PRESS them.

- We TYPE text. "Enter" is the name of a key.

Once you nail down these things, you hardly need think of them again. Doing
the drudge work of establishing these terminological formats in advance
leaves you free to be a bit more creative in the fun areas of technical
writing, such as putting the user in the picture and creating useable dummy
data for examples.

I'll let you know if we ever figure out a good replacement for DIAL the
phone. I suspect we'll all be "dialing" pushbuttons well into the 21
century (which starts January 1st, 2001).

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We have been using the same conventions that Scott has listed above. For
this reason, I'd like to describe a situation and ask y'all what
terminology would you use:

A dialog box opens up on the screen and contains a number of items which
must all be dealt with before the OK button is "clicked."
First, the user has to type his name in the Name field. He then tabs to
the next field and types his address. In the next field, he types his
city. Now he comes to a drop down list box from which he chooses the
two-letter abbreviation for his state. Later he comes to an option group
box which contains the two options, male and female. He has to indicate
his sex. Next, he's given a few check boxes to indicate his marital
status and whether he has kids.

In the text boxes, he obviously "types" the required information. For the
drop down list box, does he "select" his state? Does he also "select" his
sex? What about the items in the check boxes? Does he "select" his
marital and child status? Finally, when he's done, does he also "select"
the enter key?

If "select" is used when the user has to choose one (or more) option over
another, buttons would be "selected" and not "clicked." How do you handle

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