Difference between revisions of "Guidelines on capitalization in Audacity dialogs and messages"

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(Votes: several typos)
(American spellling thru-out. Quick reference comes first.)
 
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{{note|1=
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__NOTOC__
'''Peter 10Jun16:''' This page is a set of draft guidelines for when and where to use capitalization in the Audacity GUI.
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{{note|These guidelines are provided to help developers create consistent communication with users via the Audacity GUI.  They should certainly be helpful for new Audacity developers and save time and effort of tweaking GUI elements after a new feature has been coded (which can be quite irritating for a developer and QA alike).  Correct capitalization helps readers identify important words and breaks in text.  
  
The initial guidelines are taken from the [https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb246428%28v=vs.85%29.aspx Microsoft guidelines] -  we can all comment here on what if anything we want to change.
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Two styles of capitalization appear in  in the Audacity User Interface:
 +
*[[#title_caps|'''title caps''']] (also referred to as book title capitalization) and
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*[[#sentence_caps|'''sentence caps''']] (also known as sentence-style capitalization).
 +
There is a [[#reference|'''Quick Reference''']] image to illustrate the guidelines.
  
I'm deliberately using '''note''' divs rather than '''ednote''' divs as some non-editors may well be reading and wanting to comment on the content of this page - and they should be able to see all the notes. }}
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Developers may sometimes intentionally choose to break these guidelines if they think that they do not fit their particular GUI element, or QA usability testing reveals an advantage in doing so.  The fundamental guideline is - "Does it look better if capitalization is changed?".}}
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{{tip|1=
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See the Manual's Consistency page for guidance on [https://alphamanual.audacityteam.org/man/Consistency_in_wording_and_punctuation_in_Audacity#Wording_and_punctuation '''Wording and punctuation''']
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* We use American spelling throughout
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* We have made consistency decisions on many hyphenations and similar, listed on that page}}
  
:<span title="This page is a Work in Progress">[[Image:WIP.png|center|frame|Work in Progress...|link=]]</span>
 
__NOTOC__
 
{{note|Correct capitalization helps readers identify important words and breaks in text. Two styles of capitalization appear in user interfaces:
 
*[[#title_caps|'''title caps''']] (also referred to as book title capitalization) and
 
*[[#sentence_caps|'''sentence caps''']] (also known as sentence-style capitalization).
 
There is a [[#reference|'''Quick Reference''']] image to illustrate the guidelines.}}
 
  
 +
<div id="reference"></div>
 +
 +
==Quick Reference==
 +
This at-a-glance reference demonstrates when and where to capitalize in the UI.
  
== Votes ==
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:<span title="Quick Reference for capitalization guidelines">[[Image:capitalization guidelines.gif|link=]]</span>
  
* '''Gale''' +1 to adopt these guidelines with the exception that "Web and Web-like page titles" and "Tooltips" (we don't distinguish these from Infotips) should use sentence capitalization. Using sentence caps for tooltips makes it easier for Status Bar text (which MS suggests should use sentence caps) to be identical with tooltip text. However many tooltips will automatically have the same title caps as the menu item they refer to, and that should be one of our rules.
 
**'''Peter:''' OK, I moved "Web and Web-like page titles" and "Tooltips" to Sentecnce Capitalization
 
*'''Gale''' +1 for where we use title caps, always capitalize the first and last word. Apple does this too https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/TerminologyWording.html so we would be out of step if we did not.
 
**'''Peter:''' OK, I struck-out my objection 
 
  
*'''Peter:''' @Gale - what do you think about removing "File names" from these guidelines as we are wildly inconsistent - and I don't see us fixing such inconsistencies either in the app or its distribution packages ;-)
 
  
 
<div id="title_caps"></div>
 
<div id="title_caps"></div>
 
 
==Title Caps==
 
==Title Caps==
{{note|'''Peter 10Jun16:''' Vaughan wrote in a related email thread: ''"Fwiw, I was schooled in Apple's HIG, where every dialog heading is considered more or less like a book chapter title, so all nouns and verbs capitalized."'' }}
 
 
Capitalize the first letter of the first and last words. Capitalize the first letter of all words in between, with the exception of articles (a, an, and the); coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet); and prepositions of four letters or fewer (at, for, with, into, etc.).
 
Capitalize the first letter of the first and last words. Capitalize the first letter of all words in between, with the exception of articles (a, an, and the); coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet); and prepositions of four letters or fewer (at, for, with, into, etc.).
 +
  
 
===Use title caps for:===
 
===Use title caps for:===
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*Column headings
 
*Column headings
 
*Command button labels
 
*Command button labels
*Floating toolbars
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*Multi-choice menus
{{note|If file names are included in elements that use title caps, the file name should be capitalised exactly as it is. So the title bar of the dialogue to browse for Lame correctly says "Where is lame_enc.dll?" and does not capitalize any part of the file name.}}
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*Floating toolbars - ''although we can float our Audacity toolbars, we do not label or title them (except with hover-text)''
..................................
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** '''Note:''' If file names are included in elements that use title caps, the file name should be capitalised exactly as it is. So the title bar of the dialog to browse for Lame correctly says "Where is lame_enc.dll?" and does not capitalize any part of the file name.  
 +
 
 +
'''We do not appear to have the following entities in Audacity. They are retained here in case we introduce them in the future.'''
 +
*Tab titles
 +
*Palette titles - ''we may get these later if and when we reintroduce theming or color choices for track name display on the waveform''
 +
*Icon labels - ''we do not currently label any of our icons in Audacity''
 
*Web and Web-like navigational elements (unless prohibited by the page design)
 
*Web and Web-like navigational elements (unless prohibited by the page design)
*Tab titles
 
*Palette titles
 
*Icon labels
 
{{note|1='''Peter 11Jun16:''' from this list I don't think that in Audacity we have: Palette titles, Tabs or Tab titles, or Icon labels - ''we may get Palette stuff later if and when we reintroduce theming or color choices for track name display on the waveform.'' 
 
*We do have a few web/web-like things in Audacity but these are restricted to links to our Manual and our Website.
 
*Although we can float our toolbars none of them carries any direct text so maybe we can omit this.
 
*I really don't agree with Microsoft here regarding ToolTips, I really think these should be in Sentence Caps - and that is what we seem to do in Audacity anyway.  Gale agreed - so I moved it (doers decide ... ) 
 
*<strike>I strongly query Microsoft's advice to always capitalize the first letter of the last word.</strike>
 
}}
 
  
 
===Examples===
 
===Examples===
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*Check for Updates
 
*Check for Updates
 
*Regular Interval Labels
 
*Regular Interval Labels
 +
  
 
<div id="sentence_caps"></div>
 
<div id="sentence_caps"></div>
 +
==Sentence Caps==
 +
Capitalize only the first letter of the first word, and capitalize only those other words that are normally capitalized in sentences, such as proper nouns. Proper nouns include explicit Audacity entities such as Track Control Panel, Transport Toolbar, Scrub Bar. etc.
 +
 +
Also, Tooltips, Infotips and Status Bar messages that explicitly refer to menu items take the title caps of those items. For example if we wanted to be verbose, the Trim button tooltip could say "Trim Audio - keep only the selected audio".
 +
 +
* Text does not end with a period, unless it's a complete or near-complete sentence in message box text or introductory/explanatory text in a dialog box.
 +
 +
* Tooltips, Infotips and Status Bar messages do not end with a period, even if a complete or near-complete sentence, unless there is more than one sentence. This seems to be per Apple practice and that of many non-Microsoft applications on Windows. If there is more than one sentence, all sentences must end in a period.
 +
 +
* Don't write a one-word sentence in message box or introductory/explanatory text followed by a complete sentence. For example this looks odd:
 +
{{codelist|Error.<br> Cannot export more than 1 million samples.}}
 +
:Make a complete sentence instead:
 +
{{codelist|Error: Cannot export more than 1 million samples.}}
 +
:or put the one word into the dialog title if possible.
 +
  
==Sentence Caps==
 
Capitalize only the first letter of the first word, and capitalize only those other words that are normally capitalized in sentences, such as proper nouns. Proper nouns include explicit Audacity entities such as Track Control Panel, Transport ToolBar, Scrub Bar, etc.  Although these text strings may form complete sentences they are never terminated with a period (full-stop) in the Audacity GUI.
 
  
 
===Use sentence caps for:===
 
===Use sentence caps for:===
*Check box labels
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*Checkbox labels
 
*Text box labels
 
*Text box labels
 
*Option (radio) button labels
 
*Option (radio) button labels
 +
*List box entries
 +
*List box labels
 +
*Group box labels
 
*Tooltips   
 
*Tooltips   
** '''Note:''' Where the tooltip is a button that operates a menu item, the tooltip ''should'' use the title caps of the menu item. For example if we wanted to be verbose the Trim button tooltip could say "Trim Audio - keep only the selected audio".
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*Infotips - ''An Infotip is a tooltip with a longer description, according to https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/windows/desktop/dn742443(v=vs.85).aspx ''
*Infotips - ''An Infotip just seems to be a tooltip with a longer description, according to https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/windows/desktop/dn742443(v=vs.85).aspx ''
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*Status bar text
{{note|'''Gale 11Jun16:''' Should infotips that are a sentence end with a period? The Selection Toolbar tooltips are inconsistent about this. Hover title text in the Manual is not closed with a period unless there are two sentences, because there is a (weak) consensus this looks better.}} 
 
*Status bar tips and messages
 
 
*Messages
 
*Messages
 
*Dialog box introductory or explanatory text
 
*Dialog box introductory or explanatory text
*List box entries
 
*List box labels
 
*Group box labels
 
 
*Web and Web-like page titles
 
*Web and Web-like page titles
..................................
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*Alternate text (ALT text) used to describe images - ''note though, we don't incorporate images as such in Audacity''
*Alternate text (ALT text) used to describe images
 
{{note|'''Peter 11Jun16:''' In Audacity I don't think we have ALT text to describe images.  Note that we currently do not observe these Microsoft guidelines in regard to the filenames that we generate in Audacity for things like configuration files or AutoSave filenames - nor in our files for Audacity releases - so maybe we should omit the File names entry.
 
* '''Gale 11Jun16:''' I added a note about not captializing file names in elements that take title caps. I think "File name" above this note could be removed, yes.
 
**'''Peter:''' Done - removed it}}
 
  
 
===Examples===
 
===Examples===
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*Ergonomic order of Transport Toolbar buttons
 
*Ergonomic order of Transport Toolbar buttons
  
<div id="reference"></div>
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==See also==
 +
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_interface_guidelines Human interface guidelines] Wikipedia article
  
==Quick Reference==
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*[https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb246428%28v=vs.85%29.aspx Microsoft guidelines on Capitalization]
This at-a-glance reference demonstrates when and where to capitalize in the UI.
 
 
 
:<span title="Quick Reference for capitalization guidelines">[[Image:capitalization guidelines.gif|link=]]</span>
 
  
 +
*[https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/TerminologyWording.html Apple's UI design guidelines]
  
==See also==
 
 
*[http://guijournal.com/2011/04/gui-design-capital-idea/ Graphical User Interface Design Notes] by Carl Andersen
 
*[http://guijournal.com/2011/04/gui-design-capital-idea/ Graphical User Interface Design Notes] by Carl Andersen
*[https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/TerminologyWording.html Apple's UI design guidelines]
 

Latest revision as of 18:11, 19 January 2018


These guidelines are provided to help developers create consistent communication with users via the Audacity GUI. They should certainly be helpful for new Audacity developers and save time and effort of tweaking GUI elements after a new feature has been coded (which can be quite irritating for a developer and QA alike). Correct capitalization helps readers identify important words and breaks in text.

Two styles of capitalization appear in in the Audacity User Interface:

  • title caps (also referred to as book title capitalization) and
  • sentence caps (also known as sentence-style capitalization).

There is a Quick Reference image to illustrate the guidelines.

Developers may sometimes intentionally choose to break these guidelines if they think that they do not fit their particular GUI element, or QA usability testing reveals an advantage in doing so. The fundamental guideline is - "Does it look better if capitalization is changed?".
Bulb icon See the Manual's Consistency page for guidance on Wording and punctuation
  • We use American spelling throughout
  • We have made consistency decisions on many hyphenations and similar, listed on that page


Quick Reference

This at-a-glance reference demonstrates when and where to capitalize in the UI.

Capitalization guidelines.gif


Title Caps

Capitalize the first letter of the first and last words. Capitalize the first letter of all words in between, with the exception of articles (a, an, and the); coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet); and prepositions of four letters or fewer (at, for, with, into, etc.).


Use title caps for:

  • Menu names and menu commands
  • Button names
  • Toolbars and toolbar button labels
  • Title bar text (for dialog boxes)
  • Column headings
  • Command button labels
  • Multi-choice menus
  • Floating toolbars - although we can float our Audacity toolbars, we do not label or title them (except with hover-text)
    • Note: If file names are included in elements that use title caps, the file name should be capitalised exactly as it is. So the title bar of the dialog to browse for Lame correctly says "Where is lame_enc.dll?" and does not capitalize any part of the file name.

We do not appear to have the following entities in Audacity. They are retained here in case we introduce them in the future.

  • Tab titles
  • Palette titles - we may get these later if and when we reintroduce theming or color choices for track name display on the waveform
  • Icon labels - we do not currently label any of our icons in Audacity
  • Web and Web-like navigational elements (unless prohibited by the page design)

Examples

  • Rescan Audio Devices
  • Bass and Treble
  • Check for Updates
  • Regular Interval Labels


Sentence Caps

Capitalize only the first letter of the first word, and capitalize only those other words that are normally capitalized in sentences, such as proper nouns. Proper nouns include explicit Audacity entities such as Track Control Panel, Transport Toolbar, Scrub Bar. etc.

Also, Tooltips, Infotips and Status Bar messages that explicitly refer to menu items take the title caps of those items. For example if we wanted to be verbose, the Trim button tooltip could say "Trim Audio - keep only the selected audio".

  • Text does not end with a period, unless it's a complete or near-complete sentence in message box text or introductory/explanatory text in a dialog box.
  • Tooltips, Infotips and Status Bar messages do not end with a period, even if a complete or near-complete sentence, unless there is more than one sentence. This seems to be per Apple practice and that of many non-Microsoft applications on Windows. If there is more than one sentence, all sentences must end in a period.
  • Don't write a one-word sentence in message box or introductory/explanatory text followed by a complete sentence. For example this looks odd:
Error.
Cannot export more than 1 million samples.
Make a complete sentence instead:
Error: Cannot export more than 1 million samples.
or put the one word into the dialog title if possible.


Use sentence caps for:

  • Checkbox labels
  • Text box labels
  • Option (radio) button labels
  • List box entries
  • List box labels
  • Group box labels
  • Tooltips
  • Infotips - An Infotip is a tooltip with a longer description, according to https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/windows/desktop/dn742443(v=vs.85).aspx
  • Status bar text
  • Messages
  • Dialog box introductory or explanatory text
  • Web and Web-like page titles
  • Alternate text (ALT text) used to describe images - note though, we don't incorporate images as such in Audacity

Examples

  • Retain labels if selection snaps to a label edge
  • Click and drag to select audio
  • Ergonomic order of Transport Toolbar buttons

See also