Enter vs. Type

Subject: Enter vs. Type
From: sherron -at- HERRON -dot- CTEXT -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 02:33:56 EST

>From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- FS -dot- COM -dot- AU>

Scott's original> - We TYPE text. "Enter" is the name of a key.

SB>To me, 'Enter' is a useful shorthand for "type the letters then press
SB>Enter".

I find that this happens very seldom in a GUI. Usually I have to [Tab] to
the next field. Pressing [Enter] "defaults" [I still hate this term]
to the OK or Done button, probably not what I wanted to do.

In the unlikely event that I have led a user to the CLI, where you'd do both,
I am happy to write it all out, e.g.

Type "install" then press [Enter].

No doubt many equally useful terminological/typographical conventions
exist. My intention was merely to suggest that clarity and consistency
are still possible in these massive-but-woolly projects, but that it's
useful to establish your convention in advance (pref. before anyone
even starts writing) and explain them early in the document.

You want to tell people to choose instead of select commands, great. Just don't
say "choose" on page 12 then say "select" on page 15, and say "click" on
page 8-25 inclusive when you know good and well that click-on-X$-with-the-mouse
is only one of four possible ways of doing it.

Heck, in olden days, we had to put up with <cr> for "carriage return,"
despite the fact that even those dumb terminals had no carriage to return!

However, I must insist on my "no Hitting, Striking, or otherwise doing violence
to keys" rule. If I see any of this in _new_ documentation, there'll trouble.
Remember, I'll be watching.

Now where's that "any" key? Ah, here it is, right next to the self-destru


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