I'm looking for a friendly, widely understood word to indicate that something is going from a "Draft" state into a "Live" state.

The difference between these two states is that once it is "Live" other users can view the data. In both instances I want the "admin" to still be able to edit details so I don't feel the word "Publish" is suitable.

When going "Live" this is to a very limited, selected group of people and not going public. This is a completely internal application.

Can anyone suggest a better word to use?

  • "unveil" can describe this functionality, but I wouldn't think users would get it :)
    – Dvir Adler
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 16:27

5 Answers 5


Is there any reason you can only use one word? Since your use case is somewhat unique, perhaps you may want to be more specific with your call to action.

  • Make Available
  • Publish To Group
  • Publish For Review
  • Issue To Group

Other one-worders that may work:

  • Circulate
  • Issue
  • Distribute
  • 2
    No, there is no need for a single word, I didn't realise I was giving that impression. I think the "Publish to ..." is most fitting. Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 16:53

Typically the term public means available to all (as opposed to private), but in a CMS context is still open to edits, and since the term publish means to make something available for public distribution, then publish still seems the best word.

I don't think the term publish necessarily means no longer editable, but in some instances such as non digital media publications then it certainly does. So it may depend on your particular scenario as to how the term publish is interpreted - either by admin or content consumers.

If publish really is not suitable, then Make public might be the nearest option if you have an truly open readership.

If you have a limited readership and only want to publish in an enclosed circle, then simply Share, Announce or Distribute may be more appropriate - but it also matters how the notification is broadcast to readers. These last three terms suggest more about access control being retained by the publisher, as opposed to something being open or published where the control is placed more in the hands of the reader.

  • Make public is very much NOT the word to use. This isn't going to be public in any sense. It is going to be accessible only to a handful of people that the admin has added to a members list. Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 16:22
  • aha - well that adds a useful bit of information into the mix! Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 16:24
  • 1
    made an edit to that effect - ie regarding open or closed readership Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 16:33

I would argue that it depends largely on what the data is. That and the target audience would dictate what "widely understood" words could be used.

That said, how about:

  • Open
  • Public
  • Printed
  • Active

I understand why you wouldn't want to use "Publish(ed)" if it can be edited later, but as Vincent says it's a convention, which many are used to. I'd stick with it, too.

  • I quite like the term "active" but it sounds awkward when put into context. I think I will settle for "Publish" after waiting to see if there are any alternative suggestions. Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 16:23
  • 1
    Yes, it really would depend on the context of the data being shown.
    – Sacha
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 16:24

I would go for "Publish" and "Published". Wordpress uses the same label and it's quite a common convention.


How about...


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups


As Actions:

Show, Hide

As States:

Shown, Hidden

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.