Usage and Grammar

Q. Dear CMOS Editor: In my technical publications work group, we have a difference in approach about using the verbs “to type” and “to enter” when instructing a reader to provide data to a computer screen interface. “Typed” data is “entered” to the computer by clicking a named control button such as “OK.” Should a reader be instructed “Type your password and click OK” or “Enter your password and click OK”? The Microsoft Manual of Style indicates that “enter” should not be used as a synonym for “type.” I would appreciate the editing perspective of CMOS.

A. In computer software manuals it might make sense to restrict how a word like “enter” is used, but I’m afraid CMOS must remain flexible.