Consistency across products plays a big role in the user experience. This glossary provides a lightweight reference for common UI terms and action labels. See also the capitalization guidance.
Takes an existing object and uses it in a new context (for example, adds an item to the cart, adds a user to a group, or adds a document to a folder).
Saves changes without closing the dialog. These properties often affect subsequent system behavior.
Use instead of
Save Changes. Compare save.
Indicates the user agrees. In a business process, typically initiates the next step.
Returns the user to the previous step in a sequence of steps, such as in a wizard.
Assists the user in selecting a file (for example, on a button or link next to an entry field). Typically opens a secondary window where the user can locate and select the desired directory and file.
Stops the current action and closes the dialog.
This action clears all the fields or selections. Also deletes the contents of a document, such as a log. Typically the default selection or value is re-established for controls that always have a selection or value, such as radio buttons.
Closes the current page or window (for example, closing a secondary window containing online help).
Creates new instances of the selected objects in a specific destination.
Makes a new object from scratch (for example, creates a calendar event or creates a new document).
In scenarios where the user needs to supply some details or settings as part of the create process, use new to initiate the action and create to apply the user-supplied details or settings to the new object. Compare add, copy, insert, and new.
Allow a user to make desired changes.
Destroys an existing object so that it no longer exists (for example, deletes a file from a directory or deletes a value from a table cell).
Opens a separate window containing the landing page for the IBM Cloud product documentation.
Use as link text only for the specific link that points to the IBM Cloud product documentation from the console menu bar. Compare learn more.
Indicates that the user has finished working in an environment (for example, editing templates) and wants to return to where he or she came from.
Transfers a file from a remote system to a local system.
Allows data or values to be changed.
See also the Edit pattern.
Permanently deletes all files or objects that have been placed into a trash container.
Compare move to trash.
Saves data in a different format external to the system. Typically opens a secondary window for the user to specify the file type and destination (for example, storing table data as a set of comma-separated values).
Moves the cursor to the next element matching the specified criteria (for example, view the next occurrence of a specific word within an email message).
Indicates completion of a series of steps, such as in a wizard.
Removes an element that was previously shown (for example, enables the user to hide details or descriptions).
Transforms data or objects from an external source. Typically opens a secondary window for the user to locate the external source.
Context: Creating a new table based on comma-separated values contained in a separate file. Compare export.
Do not use
launch; use start.
Opens additional, highly contextual information. Insert at the end of inline text or hover text where more information follows but does not fit in the current context.
If space permits, combine learn more with meaningful text that describes the content you're pointing to. For example, if your user needs some best practices to manage apps in multiple regions, you could use Learn more about regions.
Enters a site or application. This choice typically opens a form for entry of credentials. Also used on the submission button after users enter their credentials.
Use instead of
sign in. Compare log out.
Exits an application or site.
Use instead of
sign out. Compare log in.
Transfers an object from one container (for example, folder, activity, or page) to another.
Starts the creation of a new object. New either creates the object immediately or opens a dialog or set of fields where the user can enter properties.
Confirms an action or completes the current task.
Best practice is to use a label corresponding to the specific action (for example, Save or Close or Delete). Use OK only when such a label is not available. Write as shown: two letters, both uppercase.
Starts audio, video, or an animation.
Adds a new comment to an online community or adds status to a log or record.
If you are editing an existing comment, use save instead.
Shows how an object or content will appear with formatting applied before the content is published or distributed. Alternatively, provides an incomplete display of an existing object without leaving the current context.
Sends a copy of the currently selected object or the object in view to the printer.
Reloads the view of an object when the displayed view has become unsynchronized with the source.
Likely used only as a tooltip on an icon button. See also the Refresh pattern.
Indicates the user does not approve. In a business process, typically blocks the process from proceeding to the next step.
Indicates or completes a response to an email or a comment.
Removes an object from the current context – but note that the object still exists (for example, removes a user from a group or removes an item from the cart).
Reverts values back to their last saved state. The last saved state includes the values stored the last time the user clicked Apply. Does not close the dialog or window.
Brings a file back after deletion, corruption, or similar event.
Completes a restore operation on all files or objects in a given system or container.
Initiates a procedure.
Use run instead of
Saves pending modifications made to a file or document. Does not close the window or panel.
Creates a new object based on the state of the object currently being viewed. The user names the new object and typically identifies its location.
Returns all objects (for example, files, names, or documents) within a defined set (for example, in a folder, directory, database, or the internet) that match some specified criteria.
Selects data from a table.
Adds all objects in the view to the selection set or checks all checkboxes.
Transfers an email or other information to the recipient or destination.
Reveals an object that was previously hidden (for example, shows descriptions or shows further details).
Creates a user account or registers a user in a system.
Use instead of
Deploy an app or service to its development or production environment so that it can be used.
Use instead of
Sorts a list or table column.
Likely used only as a tooltip on an icon button. Can be used without 'ascending' or 'descending' only if the order can be provided to a screen reader in the code for accessibility.
Opens a separate window containing the IBM Cloud Ideas portal.
Use only as link text on the Support widget from the console menu bar.
Returns to the top of the page.
Use instead of
back to top.
Reverts to the state before the most recent changes made by the user. Repeated use successively reverts to prior states in reverse chronological order. Applies to changes in data and not to changes made to the view.
Label for a button in a dialog or form for editing an object. The settings in the dialog are applied to the object when it is updated.
Transfers a file from a local system to a remote system.
Presents additional information or properties for the object.