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Are there any official (vendor specific?) guidelines how to refer to a menu entry in a program?

If I open Microsoft Outlook help there is always a listing
1. Goto Tab x
2. Click on item y
3. ...

But how about if you need to write (plain text) Goto Extras - Options - Advanced - Hidden Settings and click enable wonder function.

There are several ways.

Separator: none, comma, dash, slash, backslash, guillemets, bullets, pipe, >, >> etc.

quotation: none, ", ', etc.

and if no plain text: bold, italic

How to write these kind of navigation? How to integrate it in a sentence?

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Does cover documentation? – Dennis Williamson Nov 8 '10 at 15:46
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Personally I would use something along the lines of:

"File | Exit"

As long as the documentation is consistent with itself (use the same rules throughout a book or article for example) then that should normally be fine with the reader as they will quickly pick up on your standards. Even better if you include a key!

I would tend to describe things that you can see on the screen in quotes and use the | bar separator to describe the list of menus you need to navigate.

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Here follows the official RedGrittyBrick standards:

If in doubt, I express it fully in grammatical English. For example "select 'File' from the menu bar and then choose the 'Save As' option".

If necessary you can abbreviate this to "select 'Save As' from the 'File' menu".

If there is a long chain of selections, use commas: "from the menu-bar select 'Format', 'Font', 'Arial', 'Regular', '10'"

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you could use a url based approach

IE://tools/internet options/{Connections}/[Lan Settings]/x:use automatic configuration script/v:address:"http://x.y.z"/[OK]


{aaa} = select tab with name aaa

[ok] = click ok button

x:bbb = select checkbox/radio button with description bbb

v:address:"ccc" = set value of address to be ccc

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