Re: Terminology for Windows Applications

Subject: Re: Terminology for Windows Applications
From: Susan_Gallagher_at_Enfin-SD -at- PROTEON -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 1994 10:10:00 EST

Andrea Magers queries:
what is the proper/standard terminology with using the mouse only (no keyboard

My first thought is the terminology used in the Microsoft Windows 3.0 User's
Choose, Click, Double-click and Select (these terms are defined at the
begining of that document).

I need some advise, please!

When we first started revamping our docs, I did a
mini-survey of the industry. Microsoft and Corel use
"choose" for menu items. Microsoft also uses "choose" for
buttons. Most others use "click" or "click on".

I had a difficult time selling "click" and "click on" to my
editorial staff. They were stuck on "select". When I
pointed out that a button could be selected (i.e., have the
focus) without being activated, we settled on "press" for
buttons or keys, "select" for menus, radio buttons, and
other screen items that could receive focus.

It works for us (so far).

Where we've had problems (and this is partly a lack of
planning on our part) is standardizing verbage for drag
operations and right-clicks.

Also... In the world of configurable mice, you'll probably
want to specify that the instructions are written for
default mouse setup and that anyone using a non-default
configuration (i.e., lefties) should adjust the instructions
accordingly. Alternatively, you can stick to "mouse button
one" and "mouse button two", but this gets wordy and
awkward **really** quickly!

Good Luck!

Sue Gallagher |
Sr. Technical Writer | "Updating a manual
Easel Corporation | is like changing tires
Enfin Technology Lab | on a moving car."
San Diego, CA | -- Edmond Weiss
Susan_Gallagher_at_Enfin-SD -at- relay -dot- proteon -dot- com |

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