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Are these abbreviations common in programming/image processing?

  1. Jan 15, 2015 #1
    Are any of the following abbreviations common or do they rather make you confused when they are on an user interface of an image processing related product?Any other suggestions?

    - Position-Pos.
    - Coordinate - Coord.
    - Radius - r
    - Circle - CRCL/ Cir./ Circ./ Crcl
    - Deviation - Dev.
    - Region - Reg.
    - Intersection - Inter.
    - Reference - Ref.

    Further, do they make sense in combinations as follows?
    - Crcl pos x = Circle position x
    - Ref.x = x coordinate of a reference point
    - Upper left corner x of a square = x coordinate of the upper left corner of a square
    -Inter.x = x coordinate of an intersection of few lines

    *The product's instruction/UI are American English based.
    **Some graphics, or other explanation might be provided to give the context, but not always.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I would spell out circle, but could live with Cir. or Circ.

    Inter. for intersection is bad, IMO, because it doesn't capture the idea of things intersecting. The rest are OK, IMO.
  4. Jan 16, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Can you perhaps put the entire word or phrase, or even a brief description, in a tooltip that pops up when the user hovers the cursor over the abbreviation?
  5. Jan 16, 2015 #4
    Thank you, your expertise really counts!

    @itbell and other possible audience,
    Here's some more specific examples:

    -Set by angle and pos. (to mean "Set by angle and position")
    -Measure ref. (to mean "Find the reference point")
    -Ref. other image (to mean "Reference other image")
    -Specify rgn. # (to mean "Specify a region number")

    I look forward to more advice.
  6. Jan 16, 2015 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    I definitely prefer your original reg. instead of rgn.
  7. Jan 16, 2015 #6


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    I would only abbreviate common words if I had to. Assuming you have to abbreviate, those seem as good as any (except 'r' is too short). You need some way for the user to verify them. When something doesn't work, a person gets desperate looking for the problem and starts to doubt his interpretation of abbreviations. The abbreviations are ok in variable names, where abbreviations are expected, but it seems awkward to abbreviate common words in a sentence like: " Enter the r in the window." Many of your examples in post #4 seem a little awkward to me.
  8. Jan 16, 2015 #7
    If you are the intended audience and it is not readily clear to you, then it is bad technical writing.
  9. Jan 16, 2015 #8


    Staff: Mentor

    Or are you, @Jun Kyoto, the writer, and asking for us to review your work?

    If that's the case, is there a good reason for all of the abbreviations, such as limited space in the UI? If there is no such constraint, I would not use abbreviations.
  10. Jan 20, 2015 #9
    Thank you all, this has been very helpful. As @Mark44 assumed, space on the UI is limited and that is only why we are considering use of abbreviations.

    Will use them within a clear context/clues at the least frequency.
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