Online Help "Click" vs. "Press"

Subject: Online Help "Click" vs. "Press"
From: Barb Ostapina <Barb -dot- Ostapina -at- METROMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 11:57:55 -0500

I'm writing my first online help text and I'd sure appreciate your thoughts
on something.

An outside vendor is creating the help itself; I'm just supplying the
words. It's for an intranet directory assistance application done in HTML
that will be used by ordinary citizens like me (as opposed to directory
assistance operators). The vendor has told us that it's more appropriate to
say "Press Search" rather than "Click Search" (referring to a button on the
screen) for HTML help. Do you agree? (I use "click" or "double click" in my
printed documentation when describing what to do with a button or field in
a Windows application, and "press" when referring to a key on the keyboard.
Maybe this is wrong, too?) Is this also true when referring to a tab (e.g.,
a folder like thing with a clickable tab on the top) -- should it be "Press
Residential" (to select the tab for the residential directory search) vs.
"Click the Residential tab"?

barb -dot- ostapina -at- metromail -dot- com

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