Re: Dialog boxes

Subject: Re: Dialog boxes
From: Mark Wilden <Mark -at- MWILDEN -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 17:57:03 -0700

> Here is an example. I am writing a step for installation. The wording
> on the dialog box reads, "SET UP READY TOO BEGIN."
>
> Now, this is obviously bad - very bad. When referencing the dialog box,
> how should I reference it?
>
> "Click Next on the SET UP READY TOO BEGIN dialog box."
> or
> "Click Next on the Setup Ready to Begin dialog box."

I would assume that this could be fixed at any time (possibly the night
before shipping!), so would use the correct form. Think how embarrassing it
would be if they fixed the dialog title without telling you. :)

Is this a modeless dialog box? If not, then you don't have to refer to its
title at all, since it will be the only applicable dialog box. Then you
could say

Click the Next button in the dialog box

I prefer saying "click the x button" instead of "click x," as that
eliminates potential ambiguity. I also generally speak of controls being
"in" dialog boxes rather than "on" them, as that's a more natural way of
speaking about boxes. Similarly, I'll talk about something being "on" a
menu, rather than "in" it.

Mark -at- mWilden -dot- com

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