Guidelines on capitalization in Audacity dialogs and messages
The initial guidelines are taken from the Microsoft guidelines - we can all comment here on what if anything we want to change.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.
- title caps (also referred to as book title capitalization) and
- sentence caps (also known as sentence-style capitalization).
- 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 ;-)
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
- Floating toolbars
- Web and Web-like navigational elements (unless prohibited by the page design)
- Tab titles
- Palette titles
- Icon labels
- 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 ... )
I strongly query Microsoft's advice to always capitalize the first letter of the last word.
- Rescan Audio Devices
- Bass and Treble
- Check for Updates
- Regular Interval Labels
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:
- Check box labels
- Text box labels
- Option (radio) button labels
- 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".
- 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
- Status bar tips and messages
- Dialog box introductory or explanatory text
- List box entries
- List box labels
- Group box labels
- Web and Web-like page titles
- Alternate text (ALT text) used to describe images
- 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
- Retain labels if selection snaps to a label edge
- Click and drag to select audio
- Ergonomic order of Transport Toolbar buttons
This at-a-glance reference demonstrates when and where to capitalize in the UI.