i have a question about when i should use ellipsis for commands in
menus, contextual menus and buttons in desktop applications (in
Sadly, the guidelines of microsoft and mac osx are different about
I have found some interesting links in the web but nothing could
answer my questions...
Microsoft writtes, that ellipsis should be used, when:
"Proper use of ellipses is important to indicate that users can make
further choices before performing the action, or even cancel the
action entirely. The visual cue offered by an ellipsis allows users
to explore your software without fear.
This doesn't mean you should use an ellipsis whenever an action
displays another windowonly when additional information is required
to perform the action. For example, the commands About, Advanced,
Help, Options, Properties, and Settings must display another window
when clicked, but don't require additional information from the
user. Therefore they don't need ellipses.
In case of ambiguity (for example, the command label lacks a verb),
decide based on the most likely user action. If simply viewing the
window is a common action, don't use an ellipsis."
Macintosh writtes, that ellipsis should be used, when the action:
Is performed by the user in a separate window or dialog.
For example, Preferences, Customize Toolbar, and Send Feedback all
use an ellipsis because they open a window (potentially in another
application, such as a browser) or a dialog in which the user sets
preferences, customizes the toolbar, or sends feedback.
To see why such commands must include an ellipsis, consider that the
absence of an ellipsis implies that the application performs the
action for the user. If, for example, the Send Feedback command did
not include an ellipsis, it would imply that feedback is generated
and sent automatically by the application.
I think, the rules of mac osx are very easy to understand. But the
rules of microsoft are not. Furthermore, when i check up some
microsoft products, the rules are not respected (e.g. the "Options"
In our application we have for example a non modal dialog, in which
items can be locked or unlocked. The problem is, the user does not
need to be perform the command immediately. But if i named the menu
command "Lock/unlock items" the ellipsis are required, because user
could be expected, that the command will be executed immediately.
In other dialogs, user can managed diefferent presets of specific
Should i don't use ellipsis only if the command name is
non-ambiguous e.g. "Permission overview" or only information will
Should i use ellipsis, if the user can make some changes (immediately
or not immediately)?
Or must commands named without the verb of the action?