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I don't distinguish between tab and folder, and tab and dialog box, I just
use the term "tab" to indicate both the physical little doohickey that
sticks up from the 'page -- folder -- dialog box' and the contents of the
'page -- folder -- dialog box' ... for example, 1) Click the Contents tab
in the Help dialog box ... 2) Select a topic on the Contents tab, then click
The whole thing is a tab ...
sheldon -dot- siegel -at- attws -dot- com
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: windows terminology
Date: Friday, April 12, 1996 5:45PM
On Friday, April 12, 1996 10:42 AM, Wendy Michaels wrote:
>I use "the <PageName> tab" when instructing the user to
>select one, but each "page"? the user tabs to is really a
>mini-dialog box? What are we calling these?
To which I replied:
>When I document the page that is displayed by clicking on a "tab," I
>extend the tab metaphor and refer to the page as the "<PageName>
> Not the most elegant solution, but I think it works.
To which Sheldon Siegel replied:
>my three cents:
>I just use "xxx dialog box" and "yyy tab" ...
>Once I decided to go with "dialog box," it became easier to name names
>eventually, when the general public learns terms like "dialog box," the
>world will become an easier place for us tech writers.
I'll see your three cents and raise you two:
Using the 'xxx dialog box' is fine if you have only one tab with one page
to display. But suppose you have multiple tabs and pages in one dialog
box? Do you refer to each page in that dialog box? That could get
confusing to the user. For example, when you run Windows 95 Help, you
get a dialog box with three tabs: Contents, Index, and Find. What do
you call what?
I see a hierarchy here. Using my terminology, you have one dialog box
(the help dialog box), which contains the Contents tab and folder, the
Index tab and folder, and the Find tab and folder. If you call each page
a dialog box, you have four dialog boxes in one: the help dialog box,
which contains the Contents tab and dialog box, the Index tab and dialog
box, and the Find tab and dialog box. That's a lot of dialog boxes to
keep track of.
Senior Technical Writer
kentn -at- metrix-inc -dot- com
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