RE: how to write click

Subject: RE: how to write click
From: Catharine Strauss <cstrauss -at- epicor -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 09:54:27 -0600

When the -> or | symbols could cause confusion, I like to use commas.

Select File, Edit.

This has been a challenge in our environment, where medium to highly skilled
users are faced with a huge menu structure.

For example:

In order to enter AR Invoices:
1. From the main menu, select Financial Management, Accounts Receivables,
General Operations, AR Invoice Entry.
2. Enter the invoice header information.

These procedures can get very long, but I don't feel that using the comma is
any less indicative of a process, as long as you start the string with a
command. This works best in situations where the options cannot be selected
simultaneously (unlike files in a directory, where the directions seem to
indicate to select or highlight all the choices before you move on.)

You also don't have to worry that the user hasn't seen a comma before, as is
the case with > and |.

I would be less clear on what to do if I saw the following:

To enter AR Invoices:
1. Financial Management | Accounts Receivables | General Operations | AR
Invoice Entry.
2. Enter the invoice information.

Of course, there's also the pitfall of assuming that the customers have seen
enough documents that you can be lazy and assume that they know what to do
with the second example, no matter if it is a comma, |, or > that separates
the words. Consistency is also an enormous challenge, because each author
in our department has a slightly different style and preference.

So, now I have a question. When using a command to indicate a menu path, do
people prefer Select or Go to?

Select File, Edit.
-or-
Go to File, Edit.

-Catharine Strauss
Knowledge Engineer
Epicor Software Corporation

Support Rep speaking to customer on the phone:
Rep: "Right-click on the icon."
Cust: "What color pen should I use?"
Rep: "Excuse me?"
Cust: "What color pen should I use when I write 'click' on the screen?"
Rep: <whimper>

-----Original Message-----
From: Ronica Roth [mailto:rroth -at- exactis -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, November 08, 1999 4:35 PM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: RE: how to write click


I like the arrows method (File -> Edit).

I strongly recommend AGAINST using the pipe (|) character. In certain
programming/technical contexts, the | means "logical or", so that File |
Edit would mean File OR Edit. In other technical contexts, the pipe
indicates that the output of the process to the left should be directed
toward the thing on the right.

Although your readers may not be so technical, someone who is technical
might get confused. Plus, I think it's a bad habit to get into, since you
might later need to write similar notation for a more technical audience.

Ronica Roth
Technical Writer
Exactis.com, Inc.
rroth -at- exactis -dot- com
303.588.8122


> need to tell the user how to
> > find the appropriate screen. Is
> there a condensed way to write this?
> >






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