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

Subject: Re: Online Help "Click" vs. "Press"
From: Mary Nurminen <manurmin -at- TRE -dot- TELE -dot- NOKIA -dot- FI>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 1998 10:07:29 +0200

I learned my lesson on this when my daughter, aged 7, was in playing with some
drawing tool on our home computer. I was in the other room and she yelled out
with some question on how to do something, which I knew there was a button for.
I yelled back, "Press that button on top of the drawing area!" and went back to
what I was doing.

In 2 minutes she yelled again, "It's not doing anything!!" I finally went into
the room to find her with her fingers all over the screen, trying to physically
press the buttons, and saying, "Look! nothing happens."

I guess 'click' is a little more exact of a description of what you're doing.


> I don't have vast experience with online help, but this issue applies to
> all forms of docs, and you are absolutely correct. You can't 'press' a
> button on the screen (unless it's a touch screen kiosk), so why confuse
> the reader? Generally, I stick to 'clicking/double clicking'
> buttons/tabs/whatever on the screen, and 'pressing' a key on the
> keyboard.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Barb Ostapina [SMTP:Barb -dot- Ostapina -at- METROMAIL -dot- COM]
> > Sent: Thursday, February 05, 1998 11:58 AM
> > To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> > Subject: Online Help "Click" vs. "Press"
> >
> > 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
> > barb -dot- ostapina -at- metromail -dot- com
> >
> >
> > ~~
> > Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
> > Search archives at:
> >,

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