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When I write an application with a programming language and I want some inputs from the user, should I use the word "Enter" or "Insert"?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

It depends on how the user is giving input. If they are entering data from a command-line or from text-boxes, I would suggest "Enter". I think most users, even non-technical ones, would already be used to this term in the context of data-entry.

I'd only use "Insert" if they are actually inserting data amongst (or in between) existing data in some sort of data grid/table, but I do a lot of work with databases so maybe that's why it has such a specific meaning to me.

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"Insert" means to put something between/among other things. It's not just a database thing. – Monica Cellio Nov 23 '11 at 19:16
"Enter" is the standard term both in terms of programming and user experience. – Wudang Nov 23 '11 at 19:27

I think "Enter" would be better. Beacause to me the word "Insert" seems to be very much associated with the physical activity of inserting something.

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Why not "input"? As in "please input your data".

Otherwise, the less words the better, you can simply prefix input boxes with descriptions, such as:

Name:  [_______]  
Email: [_______]

I'd be inclined to do this.

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