User Guide Cancel

Terminology and word choices

Please read over the following guidelines for terminology, produuct names, Layer panel icon names, and puncuation. The goal is to make sure tutorial instructions are easy to understand and consistent.


The table below contains key terms authors should use if possible. 



If you want the user to do this:


Then use this term in the coach mark:

check mark button DO 


cross mark DON’T 


Activate a menu item

check mark button choose

cross marknot click, not select

Choose File > Save


Choose Convert to Smart Object

Don’t: Click File > Save


Don’t: Select Convert to Smart Object

Activate a tool, layer, or thumbnail

check mark button select

cross marknot choose, not click

Select the Crop tool


Select the layer


Don’t: Choose the Crop tool


Don’t: Click on the layer

Drag a UI item or part of an image

check mark button drag

cross marknot click and drag

Drag the Opacity slider


Drag the flower 


Drag to create a rectangular selection

Don’t: Click and drag the Opacity slider


Don’t: Click and drag the flower

Use one of these modifiers with a key or command:
  • Control/Command
  • Option/Alt
  • Control/right-click
  • Shift
  • Insert plus [ + ] after the modifier
  • Abbreviate modifier keys to save space
  • Include (Mac) (Win) for commands that are single platform only
  • Cmd+Z 
  • Ctrl+Z 
  • Shift+click
  • Shift+drag
  • Cmd+click
  • Ctrl+click
  • Opt+click


  • Cmd+click (Mac)
  • Ctrl+click (Win)
  • Opt+click (Mac) 
  • Alt+click (Win)
  • Ctrl+click (Mac)
  • Right-click (Win)


Move the mouse indicator

check mark button Cursor

cross marknot pointer

Move your cursor outside the boundary

Don’t: Move the pointer outside the boundary

Use the Toolbar

check mark button Toolbar

cross marknot Tools panel, not Tools palette



Use a Blend mode, or use the Blend mode menu

check mark button Blend mode

cross marknot blending mode, not blend mode, not Blend Mode

Click the Blend mode menu (Normal) and choose the Screen Blend mode.


Product names

Follow these guidelines when you mention a product name in a tutorial:

  • Don’t include “Adobe” in the product name. 
  • Mention Photoshop only when it’s important for clarification.
  • Don’t include “CC” in the product name. 
  • If you must use a product name, stick to the names in the Do Use column below.

check mark buttonDO USE:

cross mark DON’T USE:

Adobe Dimension

Don’t: Adobe Dimensions

Adobe Fonts

Don’t: Fonts

Adobe Stock

Don’t: Adobe Stock for individuals

Camera Raw

Don’t: Adobe Camera Raw

Don’t: ACR

Don’t: Photoshop Camera Raw


Don’t: Adobe Fresco


Don’t: Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator for iPad

Don’t: Illustrator on the iPad


Don’t: CC Libraries

Lightroom Classic

Don’t: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic

Don’t: Photoshop Lightroom Classic

Don’t: Lightroom Classic CC

Lightroom (cloud-based)

Don’t: Adobe Lightroom

Don’t: Photoshop Lightroom

Don’t: Lightroom CC

Lightroom for mobile 

Don’t: Lightroom on mobile


Don’t: Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop for iPad

Don’t: Photoshop on the iPad







The industry-standard vector graphics software lets you create everything from web and mobile graphics to logos, icons, book illustrations, product pakcaging, and billboards. 


Creative Cloud Desktop app

Location where builds are updated for installation


Discover panel

A product panel that displays tutorials. 


Learn Content Module

An engineering term and refers to the portion of the Discover panel where Learn tutorials are displayed


Photoshop Create beautiful graphics, photos and art anywhere. 


Tutorial Builder

A builder that allows authors to create guided hands-on tutorials that users work through in Illustrator on their computers.

Layer panel icon names

Use these terms for the icons at the bottom of the Layer panels if possible. 


check mark button DO EXAMPLES

cross mark DON’T EXAMPLES

Link layers

Add layer style


Add layer mask

Don’t: Add mask

Add vector mask

Don’t: Add mask

Create new adjustment layer

Don’t: Create new fill and adjustment layer

Create new fill layer

Don’t: Create new fill and adjustment layer

Create new layer

Don’t: Add layer

Create new group


Delete layer




check mark buttonDO EXAMPLES

cross mark DON’T EXAMPLES

Add layer clipping mask

Don’t: Add clipping mask.                            

Create new layer

Don’t: Add layer

Create new sublayer

Don’t Add sublayer

Delete layer

Don’t: Remove layer

Word Choices

Words to use

Words to avoid 


check mark button  straightforward, short, direct, time-saving, smooth, efficient

cross marknot “easy

cross marknot “simple”

These words may not reflect how learners feel about topics that are new to them. Empathize with your audience and avoid these words unless they are important to describe what you’re teaching (such as a technique that really is quicker than an alternative). Some synonyms to consider: straightforward, short, direct, time-saving, smooth, efficient

check mark button tutorial, try it out, explore, practice, do {X thing}, guided, guidance, session, developing skills, going deeper, show how, walk through, grow/develop skills.
cross mark not learning, course, class, training, lesson, teaching, instruction, education, homework, exercise
Research tells us that users tend to think of learn content as geared toward beginners only and/or too heavy, requiring a lot of brainpower and investment. Use lightweight ways to talk about the activity of learning, like those marked in green, to lighten the mood instead.

Illustrator or Photorshop

Since the learning content is created specifically for each product, using the term, “Illustrator” or "Photoshop", in the tutorial is generally redundant and should be avoided.


However, if you are comparing the capabilities of Illustrator to Photoshop, it may be necessary to use those terms.


Get help faster and easier

New user?

Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online