Alternative to "option" for dialog box options

Subject: Alternative to "option" for dialog box options
From: Cynthia Anne Fisher <fisherca -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 22:27:27 -0700

If anyone can help with this, I'd really appreciate it. I'm racking my brain, but I can't think of a solution.

The MS Style Guide for Technical Publications says not to use "field" or "control" to describe a component of a dialog box (list, button, etc.). They recommend "option." The problem with option is that some of options in the software I'm currently documenting are required, while others are...well, optional. "Required option" sounds ridiculous, and I don't want to go anywhere near "optional option." Synonyms for "required" and "optional" help, but only to a certain extent; the meaning is still the same.

Any ideas? We want to adhere to the MS style guidelines, to maintain consistency, but I think in this case we're going to have to deviate. We could use "field" or "control," but both are such a techie terms, we hesitate to go with either of them.

Let me know if you have any great thoughts...

Cindi Fisher

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