Re: Terminology for Select Exit

Subject: Re: Terminology for Select Exit
From: Jane Bergen <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 13:52:22 -0600

At 10:08 AM 2/28/97 -0800, Susan W. Gallagher wrote:
>>>What is the correct terminology for describing a menu selection?
>>>Is it:
>>> Select Exit FROM the menu
>>> Select Exit ON the menu
>>> Select Exit IN the menu
>You serve users well if you create right-branching sentences, telling
>them first the menu, then the option. I use an arrow to separate the
>menu name from the option name, as in:
> Select File > Exit from the menu.

I believe the best option is this:

On the File menu, select Exit.

This style eliminates any unnecessary words. It also places the actions in
the order that the user encounters them, as in Susan's example, but I like
the word "Menu" not to be so far from the modifier ("File"). For example,
before s/he sees the Exit command, the user must open the File menu. And
FWIW, I bold the words "File" and "Exit" and make them Arial font to stand
out against the usual text (Book Antiqua/Palatino).

If you work with cascading or multilayered menus, I write it like this:

On the File menu, select Run > Script.

(we have a weird program! when you click Print, you get another little menu
that cascades with several options for things that run...) I've seen a
study or detailed discussion of this approach somewhere...but it makes for
common sense, too.

Jane Bergen
Jane Bergen, Technical Writer
AnswerSoft, Inc. Dallas, TX
janeb -at- answersoft -dot- com

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