Re: Use button text or tooltip text?

Subject: Re: Use button text or tooltip text?
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: techwr-l
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 13:27:53 -0700

I'm creating an HTML-based Help system.

And I think I found the solution right in teh application I use for
newsgroup reading: Outlook Express. (The Microsoft Windows User Experience
book doens't say that tooltips should match the buttn names if the buttons
have text as well as an icon.) In OE, one option for displaying toolbars is
"Selective Text," where some buttons get both text and an icon. Some of
these buttons have longer, more expressive tooltips than the actual button

I also recognize the frustration when encountering tooltips that are only
the button name. So I'll leave the tooltip out of it and jsut use the button
name in my docs.

Chuck Martin

"Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher5 -at- cox -dot- net> wrote in message
news:209642 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> 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.


> >
> > From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
> > I am documenting a web application that, like many client applications,
> > toolbars. Users can select options on how to view the toolbars: icons
> > text only, or icons and text. The buttons in the toolbar also have
> >
> > But unlike most applications I've seen, the text in the tooltip is
> > 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
> > My issue is, when users select "icon only," while I can add the
> > of the icon, I also must have the text, and if I use the button text,
> > it won't match the tooltip text.
> >
> > Of course, I will probably enter this as a bug, as I think the tooltip
> > should match the button text, but if I am either overruled or if it's
> > considered serious enough to get changed for this release, what's the
> > solution for presenting the information so it'll be best understood by
> > users?

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