I have to show employee status in a place but I have a space constraint.
Will the users be able to understand "emp" as "employee"?
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This depends on two factors:
Say your application is a payroll and users are employees, then it is well understood by the end users as they are familiar with short terms.
But, if the same application is used by other category of people then , they may not get the short words. Here emp to employee is a common word so i think most of them will get it, if you have same thing in medical terms then it would be difficult for end user to understand the same.
In that case use something like tooltip as Chris says. or other glossary building technique like that of wikipedia!