I am writing some documentation and want to instruct a user through a process. During the process the user should click a button to open another screen. I am unsure how to document this as the button text ends with an ellipsis:

Button Sample

How would I accomplish this if the text is at the end of the sentence? Using this example: Click the button with the label of Action...

I am not using a quote and this is not an example of missing text as the full label of this button includes ellipsis since I do not know what the full text is.

  • 2
    There is a UX Stack Exchange that might be of interest. Though why you'd need to specify the ellipsis in documentation other than the (hopefully not more than one of) Action button would be otherwise completed as presented here. Show the button.
    – SrJoven
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 17:41
  • The request has come externally that we document labels of buttons instead of their intent. I would personally assume that "Next" and "Next..." perform the same action, but the request has been this is included. If I had control of the UX this would be a non-issue.
    – DarkSheep
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 18:11
  • 2
    Why can't you just call it the "Action button"? If you have an Action button and an Action ... button, you might want to rethink your user interface. Otherwise, I can't imagine anybody getting confused by your not mentioning the ellipsis.
    – Peter Shor
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 18:14
  • The ellipsis is a hint that this button opens a window when pressed, so it could be thought of as not part of the text at all.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 18:16
  • DarkSheep: "the request has been this is included" then avoid end of sentence constructs or use a specific font/style/typeface/background to reflect buttons versus text.
    – SrJoven
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 18:55

4 Answers 4


In my documentation, I always reference the button exactly as it is labeled. My test users stated they scan the documentation looking for words that match the button (and vice versa) and so now that's what I do. When the sentence ends with a button name that has an ellipse, I add in the fourth dot as if it were the end of a regular sentence.

To choose what happens next, click Action....

The use of bold follows the MS Manual of Style, along with what my users requested.


I would recommend putting the label of the button in square brackets or some other distinct font to make it obvious that the ellipsis is part of the label

To choose what happens next, click [Action...].

  • +1 I think enclosing it in brackets is much more preferable to bolding and easier on the eyes.
    – Seth
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 0:29

Simply: "Click the button:" or "Click next button"


I personally hate the obviously explicit "click the button". Buttons are meant to be clicked. Tell me why I should click it.

For my web content, I use the construct ...more to indicate that ... well, that there's more.

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