UI elements in content

This page contains information on how to write technical content that involves a user interface (UI).

Format names of UI elements

Always bold UI elements when referring to them by name.

This includes names for buttons, menus, dialogs, windows, list items, or any other feature on the page that has a visible name.

Don't make an official feature name or product name bold, except when it directly refers to an element on the page that uses the name, such as a window title or button name.

In most cases, follow the capitalization as it appears on the page. However, if labels are inconsistent or they're all uppercase, use sentence case.

Focus on the task

When practical, state instructions in terms of what the user should accomplish, rather than focusing on the widgets and gestures. By avoiding reference to UI elements, you help the user understand the purpose of an instruction, and it can help future-proof procedures.

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Refer to UI elements

Don't use UI elements as if they were English verbs or nouns.

In the Name field, enter an account name.Name the account.
To save the settings, select Save.Save the settings.


When documenting the UI, use the following prepositions.

PrepositionUI elementExample
In the Alert dialog, select OK.
In the Name field, enter wsfc-1.
In the Item list, select Desktop.
In the File menu, click Tools.
In the Metrics pane, select New.
In the Task window, select Start.
On the Create an instance page, select Add.
On the Edit tab, select Save.
On the Dashboard toolbar, select Edit.