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Q&A

Demo data in screenshots! What are the best practice?

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My question is related to best practices of making screenshots for end-user documentation. Particularly, is there universal information for filling in forms in the software and after that making screenshots.

I mean demo data, such as Name, Company Name, City, IP-address, Links, URL, Site, Username Password.

Are there any conventions that help avoid using the existing names and real infomation?

Thanks in advance!

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/8185. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Assuming native speakers of American English:

For first names:

  • John
  • Jack
  • Mary
  • Jane

For last names:

  • Doe
  • Smith
  • Jones
  • Johnson

Full names:

  • John Doe is native English shorthand for "generic person."
  • Richard Roe is native English legal shorthand for "second generic person in the same document as John Doe." ["Jane Roe" (an anonymous woman at the time) is the Roe in Roe v. Wade.]
  • John Q. Public is another recognizable "generic person." Use any first name there.

For company names, I like using Widget for products in conjunction with Co., Company, Corp., Inc., etc. (So House of Widgets, Widgets Inc.) A "widget" is a generic term for "made object or product."

For non-product names, Acme is reasonably generic. (Acme Incorporated) You can also combine some of the other generic terms: SmithCo, Jones & Sons, Acme Widgets.

For addresses:

  • 123 Main Street
  • Anytown, ST 12345 (ST is standing in for the two-letter state abbreviation)

For websites, I'd just use www.example.com

For username and password, just put in username and password. You actually want to be straightforward with those fields, not coy and anonymous.

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