Re: Terminology - dialogs with tabs

Subject: Re: Terminology - dialogs with tabs
From: "Gail M. Hall" <gmhall -at- APK -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 00:49:56 GMT

On Wed, 9 Dec 1998 13:44:27 -0500, you (Renee Krull
<RKrull -at- UNLIMITEDSOLUTIONS -dot- COM>) in a message to
TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU wrote:

>I work for a software development company, and many of our products have
>the standard Windows interface. The way we typically handle this
>situation is to call the "active tab" a folder. In other words, you
>could say to select the General tab of the Options dialog box to view
>the General folder. This isn't necessarily industry standard, but it has
>worked for us.
>Renee Krull
>rkrull -at- unlimitedsolutions -dot- com

I think "tab" is the term that Microsoft uses, and once I found out what they
meant by "tab," I could understand that.

When you click on a tab, that "folder" or "page" is displayed "on top" of the

I also wish that instructions included the keyboard method for getting to
different "tabs." I searched through Windows Help and found the Ctrl+Tab
method. The instructions are in the Windows 95 book, but many users don't
know them because they are well hidden and hardly ever mentioned anywhere
else. It works most of the time. I also appreciate the companies who employ
the underlined letter in the tab title so that Alt plus the underlined letter
get you to the new tab.

I can see why you would use "folder" for the name of the tabbed "window"
(pane?) because it looks like a file folder, but "folder" is also the term
for directories. It looks more like a page in the dialog box, so I think I
would understand "page" better in this context. I wonder if other users feel
the same way. However, the Windows Help and book that came with Windows 95
uses "tabs" as the term. For example:

Move forward through tabs CTRL+TAB
Move backward through tabs CTRL=SHIFT=TAB

I am very pleased to learn that technical writers are concerned with using
"standardized" terms that are similar from application to application so that
switching software doesn't always require users to learn a whole new
vocabulary for similar tasks!

>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: -Melanie Albrecht- [SMTP:Melanie_Albrecht -at- MOLDFLOW -dot- COM]
>>Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 1998 7:18 PM
>>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>>Subject: Terminology - dialogs with tabs
>>I am writing online help for software which has dialog boxes with tabs
>>does the Options dialog in Word). I am having trouble thinking of a
>>way to say that a particular tab is selected? active? Any ideas? The
>>Microsoft Manual of Style has nothing to say on the topic.
>>Melanie Albrecht
>>melanie_albrecht -at- moldflow -dot- com

Gail M. Hall
gmhall -at- apk -dot- net

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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