One word, lowercase d.


We typically try to avoid writing data. Information or info is more conversational and less transactional.

However, there are times when writing data is better. For example, when responding to privacy or security concerns, it’s reassuring for customers to know that “We securely store your data.” Or, when dealing with support issues, discussing a customer’s actual “company file data” helps communicate the importance of the message.

data file

Don’t use. Use company file instead. Data files (plural) can be used to refer to a collection of related files.

(Dates) April 15, 2012, October 2013

These examples show what not to do: May 5th, 2004; October, 2013.

We can do better. Read our guidelines for presenting dates.

day care, day-care facility, family day care

Day care is two words as a noun and hyphenated as an adjective. These terms can be important for TurboTax users. We don’t write “day care facility” or “daycare facility.”

DBA; Doing business as

DBA is the standard legal acronym for doing business as. If you’re reading this, we’re guessing you’re writing an interface field label, in which case legal business name is probably the better option. Use sentence case in UI field labels (that is, “Legal business name”).


Don’t use. For preferences, use turn off. For options, use clear.


As in, “Dear Valued QuickBooks Online Account Customer.” If you ever see this, in email marketing or otherwise, alert everyone you know. We’ve got to get away from this kind of language.


Try to avoid using default in customer-facing copy.


A company that develops software-as-a-service applications that help businesses reach consumers via emails, text messaging, and online services. Demandforce used to be part of Intuit. Write as shown.

Department of Revenue

Capitalize as shown.


Select is OK, but don’t use deselect. Instead, use clear (unless you’re writing for QuickBooks for Mac). The term deselect causes a problem for localization and it sounds technical.


Specific copy is always best, but we can use device or mobile device instead of specifying phone or tablet.


Spell as shown. Not dialogue. And it’s not a verb. For that, we have talk.

dialog box

Now a term out of fashion, this is a box that appears temporarily on a display screen to present information or request user input. Internally, you may hear these called modals or popups. Don’t use any of these. Instead, use window.


Don’t use. Use grayed out instead.

direct debit

A preauthorized payment an account holder authorizes a bank or financial institution to make directly to the biller. It can be a fixed amount (such as mortgage payment or rent) or a variable amount (such as those called for in bills or invoices). Use direct debit, lowercase. Don’t use as a verb. Don’t capitalize, even when referring to the direct debit service offered through Payroll.


Don’t use. Use folder instead, except possibly on the developer site.


Don’t use. Use grayed out instead.

disc, disk

Don’t use; be specific. Most people back up to a CD, their hard drive, a flash drive/other removable media, or the cloud.


Don’t use when you’re talking about closing a card, window, or other similar interface elements. Instead, say “close,” as in “Close this window.”

display (n)

Use display to refer to the device that displays computer information, whether it’s attached to a laptop, is freestanding, or is part of a mobile device. Don’t use monitor or screen.

display (v)

A window opens or appears. An LCD monitor displays what your computer is doing.

display name

Don’t use. Instead, use user ID.

doc, docs

Use this term, short for document, only for the developer site and experience.


Hyphenate as shown.


Hyphenated. Don’t use double-click on. Do: Double-click a customer name to edit customer information.


Use double-tap to communciate that the user can scale content or an image on a mobile device by zooming in or out. Can also be used as a secondary gesture for text selection.


Avoid this term. Use “change plans” instead.


OK to use. Example: Download transactions.


Use when describing how a user can scroll content or navigate between views. Can also be used to describe moving an element.


This is an internal term. Use panel instead. Or better yet, look for opportunities to replace a copy-based element with an icon that’s easy to understand. UX Magazine said it best: “Work with designers to create smart copy-icon pairings. If this pairing is done right, you can retire copy and let the icon work its semiotic magic.”

drop off (v), drop-off (n, adj)

Two words or hyphenated, depending on use. Do this: Drop off your package at the FedEx drop-off location.


Don’t write this. It isn’t going to translate well, and it isn’t straightforward (even if the interface is drop-dead gorgeous).


A graphical control element that shows a list of options when selected. As of October 2019, we no longer hyphenate this term.