Re: Technical Writing Books

Subject: Re: Technical Writing Books
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 11:18:25 -0700

Floramaria Deter wrote:
>I purchased _The Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications_
>...I am questioning how
>*accurate* it is...I have been told to write "click on the button" but according to
>the Manual of Style book, the correct way is to write "click the button."

When it comes to a style guide, accuracy isn't the point. It's
convention. And what's right is what's right for your audience.
The MS Manual of Style outlines the conventions that MS uses in
their docs, so if you use the same terminology, your users will,
in theory, understand your documents more easily because it
conforms to the conventions used on their platform.

As for your specific question, I haven't seen "click on" in years.
"Click" is the most widly used convention.

On the same note, Alexia Prendergast wrote:
>"Click" is a pet peeve of mine. You do not "click" a
>button. You click a *mouse* button to *select* a GUI
>button. Since there are many ways of selecting an object
>(mouse, accel key, etc.), I always write "Select the blahblah
>button" instead of "Click"...

And "select a button" is a pet peeve of mine. ;-) The most
commonly used meaning for "select" in a GUI environment is to
apply focus to a control or to data. My target audience -- programmers
-- may indeed need to apply the focus to a command button as
they prepare to associate it with the code that supplies its
functionality. However, applying focus to a button does not
in any way imply executing the code with which it is associated.

Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com
-- The _Guide_ is definitive.
Reality is frequently inaccurate.

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