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I have a cell in a table that is holding some data that can be exceptionally long. I have to crop the data and only display the first ~40 or so characters, and I'd like to add a link or button below to allow the user to open up details of the record that includes the full, uncropped data. What is the best -- i.e. most easily understood / recognized -- way of informing the user that the text is cropped and can be viewed in its entirety? (Bonus points for some actual research.)

Some ideas:

  • ... (just an ellipsis, but in a larger font so it's easy to see)
  • more...
  • view more...
  • view all
  • open details
  • full data
  • ... --> view more (an ellipsis by default and some additional text on mouse-over)

The ellipsis by itself looks the nicest IMO because repetitive text on each row of the table gets too busy-looking, but I'm afraid it may not be understood by the typical user.

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The most important factor in your decision should be "don't make the user think."

The ellipsis is standard for truncating, but if you also intend to use it for a link, you'll want to use some sort of visual link convention (an underline, a link colour that you're using throughout, or something to that effect.), but it must be both obvious to the user that this is an interactive component to the site, and large enough to use.

I don't think a "read more" link is a bad idea if you want to keep the ellipsis as plain text.

Another idea (to keep it short and sweet) might be an ellipses with a plus icon like this in place of the read more link: http://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/icon/plus-circle/

http://blog.htc.ca/2013/09/03/web-design-conventions/

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