Re: Technical Writing Books

Subject: Re: Technical Writing Books
From: "Parks, Beverly" <ParksB -at- EMH1 -dot- HQISEC -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 14:52:18 -0700

>Parks, Beverly wrote:
>> I use "press". That's what you do with buttons, you press them. That is
>> even the visual effect you get when you perform the action.

Kim Keegan wrote:
>So how do you differentiate keyboard input vs. buttons on the screen?
>That is, do you also say "Press the Enter key"? Or are you one of the
>more violent types that uses "Hit" or "Strike"? (Just kidding...) ;-)

I say "Smash that Enter key!" In the application I document (yes,
there's just one), none of the labels on the GUI buttons match any keys
on the keyboard (except Delete), so I just say "Press Update", "Press
Close", "Press Enter", "Press Tab". I can't think of a single instance
at the moment where the user has to press the delete key as opposed to
the delete button. At least not a documentable (is that word?) instance.
They can delete highlighted text with the delete key, but that's a
Windows task.

I use "select" for when they have to select an item from a table (grid)
or a tab from a tabbed dialog. For menu items and option buttons, I use
"choose". I use "type" when they have to enter text from the keyboard.
And I use "click" for checkboxes.

>To me, reading the command "Click" tells my brain to "use my mouse to
>move the pointer to the appropriate place on the screen - a button for
>instance -- and click the left mouse button once." The term "click", in
>the software documentation world, automatically implies using a mouse
>(or non-keyboard input device?).

Very true. In the front of the manual I define the mouse actions "single
click" (or just "click") and "double click". And (oh, no!) I just
noticed I use "click on" in some instances. For inputting dates, there
is a calendar that pops up and I tell the user to "click on any date in
the month to select a day".
>>My US$.02 worth.<<

It was quite a bargain. ;-)

With this, I'm outta here till Monday.
>Bev Parks
>parksb -at- emh1 -dot- hqisec -dot- army -dot- mil
>The Friendly Faces of TECHWR-L -

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Re: Technical Writing Books
Next by Author: Re: numbers more than 10
Previous by Thread: Re: Technical Writing Books
Next by Thread: Re: Technical Writing Books

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads