Re: Online Help "Click" vs. "Press"

Subject: Re: Online Help "Click" vs. "Press"
From: "Martin, Chuck" <chuckm -at- EVOLVESOFTWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 09:59:40 -0800

On Thursday, February 05, 1998 8:58 AM, Barb Ostapina
[SMTP:Barb -dot- Ostapina -at- METROMAIL -dot- COM] wrote:
> 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"?

No, I don't agree. The user clicks interface elements (not "clicks on").

User press keys on the keyboard (they don't "hit" keys).

Tell your vendor to purchase a copy of the Microsoft Manual of Style.

--
"You don't look American."
"Everyone looks American, because Americans are from everywhere."

- Doonesbury
Chuck Martin, Technical Writer
Evolve Software | Personal
chuckm -at- evolvesoftware -dot- com | writer -at- best -dot- com
www.evolvesoftware.com | www.writeforyou.com




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