Re: Use button text or tooltip text?

Subject: Re: Use button text or tooltip text?
From: Susan W. Gallagher <sgallagher5 -at- cox -dot- net>
To: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>,"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 15:53:37 -0400

Maybe the tooltip text is different from the button text so
that if button text is displayed and the user displays the
tooltip, extra information appears rather than the same text
all over again. If I displayed the tooltip for a button that
says "Process" and all the tooltip said was "Process", I'd
be pretty upset, actually. ;-)

You didn't say what application you're using, but in either Frame or Word, it's possible to insert graphics inline with text (although not always pretty because the graphics muck up
the line spacing). I would insert the button graphic in the
doc, followed by the button text, and leave the tooltip text
out of it.

Presumably, any user who elects to display only the button
graphics is secure enough in their capabilities to be able to
deal with it. It's their choice, after all.

-Sue Gallagher

> From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>

> I am documenting a web application that, like many client applications, uses
> toolbars. Users can select options on how to view the toolbars: icons only,
> text only, or icons and text. The buttons in the toolbar also have tooltips.
> But unlike most applications I've seen, the text in the tooltip is different
> from the text on the button (when the button text is chosen for viewing). So
> my questions is: When I write "Click <button>" in an instruction, should
> <button> be the button text or the tooltip text?
> I know the general rule it to tell users exactly what they are clicking on.
> My issue is, when users select "icon only," while I can add the pictograph
> of the icon, I also must have the text, and if I use the button text, then
> it won't match the tooltip text.
> Of course, I will probably enter this as a bug, as I think the tooltip text
> should match the button text, but if I am either overruled or if it's not
> considered serious enough to get changed for this release, what's the best
> solution for presenting the information so it'll be best understood by
> users?

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