Common controls should behave ‘common’ and look like everyday controls. Therefore, it is much recommended to use standard font. Bold or italic font should not be applied to control labels.
- Keep labels short; be aware that translated English text can expand up to 30% in some languages.
- Do not shorten your labels to the point of losing meaning. However, a three-word label that provides clear information is better than a one-word label that is ambiguous or vague. Try to find the fewest possible words to satisfactorily convey the meaning of your label.
- When the label is associated with another control, like a line edit, be sure to set the the line edit as the buddy of the label.
- If a dialog is user-initiated, identify it using the command or feature name.
- If it is application- or system-initiated (and therefore out of context), label it using the program or feature name to provide context.
- Do not use the title to explain what to do in the dialog – that’s the purpose of the main instruction.
- Label tabs based on their pattern. Use nouns rather than verbs, without ending punctuation.
- Do not assign an access key. Tabs are accessible through their shortcut keys (Ctrl+Tab, Ctrl+Shift+Tab).
- Use group labels to explain the purpose of the group, not how to make the selection.
- End each label with a colon to show a relationship.
- Do not assign an access key to the label.
- For a selection of one or more dependent choices, explain the requirement on the label.
Using Ellipses in Labels¶
Ellipses are used to indicate that a button or menu item will perform an action that always requires additional user input before completing. Use an ellipsis at the end of a menu item or button’s label only when the following circumstances apply:
- The menu item or button must perform an action. Actions always begin with a verb, (e.g. “Show”, “Configure”, “Adjust”) and have a definite start and end
- That action must always require additional user input to complete
Here are examples of menu items and buttons whose labels typically have ellipses:
- Find and Replace…
- Save As…
- Send To…
- Configure [something]…
Here are examples of menu items and buttons whose labels typically do not have ellipses, along with the reason why:
- About — not an action
- Advanced Options — not an action
- Close or Quit — action does not always require additional user input
- Delete or Remove — action does not always require additional user input
- Help — not an action
- Print Preview — not an action
- Properties — not an action
- Toolboxes — not an action