'click' vs 'click on': in computer instructions

coconut86

New Member
Chinese
I am confused when writing the user's guides on the usage of "click". It functions as both the transitive verb and intransitive verb. For instance, click the link, click on the icon. Last time when I wrote "click on the link" and the American native collegue pointed out error stating that "on" is unnecessary here. So I wonder when should we use "on" and when should not? Thanks a lot.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    The problem with using "click" for some and "click on" for others is that there will be people who complain about the lack of consistency (even though the individual uses might be consistent, complaining readers probably won't be so involved as to notice).

    So I would suggest just picking the one you like best -- click on the link, click on the icon or click the link, click the icon -- and stick with it throughout.
     
    Last edited:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I agree with Copyright that both of them are correct. I also agree that you want to be consistent.

    I disagree with your American colleague that "click on" is an error. Although some people do use "click" by itself, it seems that far more people write "click on the icon/ the link".

    Of course, only click by itself would be correct in "click here", and there may be a few other instances like that.
     

    karada

    Member
    USA, English
    I was about to post a new thread with this question until I finally found this one. I have always preferred "click the link/icon" as opposed to "click on the link/icon" because I felt that "on" was unnecessary.

    Does it make any difference if the name of the button is used? For example:

    "Click on Cancel" vs. Click Cancel"
    "Click on the Cancel button" vs. "Click the Cancel button"
    "Click on the button" vs. "Click the button"

    To me, "click on" does not sound right in any of these cases, but it sounds worst in the first example. However, pickarooney's explanation of why "click on" is preferable does make sense.

    Since all of the computer instructions I have ever written say "click" as opposed to "click on" (and I have changed "click on" to "click" when editing instructions written by others), I'm still curious as to whether one is really more "correct" or if it is truly just a matter of style.

    Thanks for your input.
     

    learner_2010

    New Member
    India-Hindi & English
    I think "Click on" suggest the specific button or link you are referring to users to click, when there are more than one button or link . but if there is only one button or link is given than you could simply use "Click OK to finish"
     
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