Thanks to all who responded to my query. It definitely helped me forward the 
responses to the person who created the inhouse style guide which included 
terms rarely found in any of the style guides. Inhouse style guides are fine 
when all follow the rules. In this case each writer followed their own rules 
without bothering about any style guidelines- inhouse or otherwise.  This chain 
of mails was very very helpful and informative. Thanks again to each of you who 


Shmuel Wolfson wrote: 

> I would use Press (not Push) when the user has to physically press a 
> button (like an ATM machine), Click when the user has to perform a
> click, and Tap when the user has to tap with a stylus.
> --
> Regards,
> Shmuel Wolfson
> Technical Writer
> 052-763-7133
> Garnier Garnier wrote:
> > Hi
> >
> > I have a query:
> >
> > Which is technically accurate, Push the Browse button to activate
> browser on click the Browse button to activate the browser?
> >
> > B/R
> > Garnier

Agreed, except that you press _keys_ (whether on a keyboard or, like an ATM or 
phone, a keypad). Push is what you do to elevator buttons, doorbells, doors, 
and cars with dead batteries. 

But other issues are at least as important as which word is technically 
correct. Who is your audience? Are they complete computer novices? Is there 
really a Browse button? (That's not a UI element I'm familiar with
-- I start browsers using shortcuts, the taskbar, or the Start menu.) 

Don't get distracted by the references to keyboard shortcuts, different mouse 
buttons, etc. Mention the latter only if this is for absolute beginners, who 
have to be told how to work a mouse. Don't mention the former (or any other 
alternate ways to accomplish the task) at all. If the audience needs to be told 
_how_ to start the browser, tell them only the one simplest, most direct way -- 
click Browse. 

For anyone other than computer novices, I'd use a variant of Art's
suggestion: Start (not activate) your browser. Or better yet: Point your 
browser to... Don't insult their intelligence -- just tell them what to do and 
assume they know how (they prefer) to do it. 


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom

      Own a website.Get an unlimited package.Pay next to nothing.*Go to 

Reply via email to