Guidelines on capitalization in Audacity dialogs and messages

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Revision as of 15:44, 10 June 2016 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (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)
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Peter 10Jun16: This page is a set of draft guidlines for when and where to use capitalization in the Audacity GUI. The initial guidelines are taken from the Microsoft guidelines - we can all comment here on what if anything we want to change.
Work in Progress...


Correct capitalization helps readers identify important words and breaks in text. Two styles of capitalization appear in user interfaces:
  • 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.


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."

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:

  • Button names
  • Column headings
  • Command button labels
  • Floating toolbars
  • Icon labels
  • Menu names and menu commands
  • Palette titles
  • Tab titles
  • Title bar text
  • Toolbars and toolbar button labels
  • ToolTips
  • Web and Web-like page titles
  • Web and Web-like navigational elements (unless prohibited by the page design)

Examples

  • Insert Object
  • Go To
  • Always on Top
  • By Name

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.

Use sentence caps for:

  • Alternate text (ALT text) used to describe images
  • Check box labels
  • Dialog box introductory or explanatory text
  • File names
  • Group box labels
  • InfoTips
  • List box entries
  • List box labels
  • Messages
  • Option (radio) button labels
  • Status bar tips
  • Text box labels

Examples

  • Working folder
  • Print to
  • Use PostScript driver

Quick Reference

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

Capitalization guidelines.gif