RE: Dialog box/Window/Editor

Subject: RE: Dialog box/Window/Editor
From: "McClare, Scott" <smcclare -at- neptec -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 10:19:48 -0500

Nana Kato [mailto:nana -at- tenryutechnics -dot- co -dot- jp] asked about Windows

> Could anybody familiar with the Windows' screen terminology help
> me, please? . . .


> Do you think it is ok to call them xxx dialog box? In the MS manual, where
> a very specific element name is defined, they often note, "In general, do
> not use the terms xxx in end-user material; use xxx instead."
> This confuses me even worse!

Specifically, the MSTP is differentiating here between "dialog boxes" and
"property sheets" (those windows with tabs that pop up when you choose
"Properties" from the right-click menu). I would tend to concur with the MS
guys in principle: if there's no need for you to differentiate between
different kinds of windows, don't bother. Call them all "dialog boxes" if
that's the function they perform.

> In our application, differenciating such terms does not seem
> so important to the user. In this sense, I can work around using the most
> neutral word "window" to refer to all the windows. But if there are
> appropriate terminologies, I prefer that.

In the case of "editor windows" and the like (it sounds like you're
documenting some sort of compiler or IDE, perhaps?), I don't see any reason
why you couldn't refer to such-and-such a "window." Or, why not just call it
by name, e.g. "the Code Editor" or "the File Selector" or what-not? I
assume you are able to set your own style guidelines for documenting the

Take care,


Scott A. McClare - Technical Writer
Neptec Design Group
(613) 599-7603 x504
smcclare -at- neptec -dot- com

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