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I want to convey the ability to navigate up and down a list of features*, similarly to the "next" and "previous" scene buttons in a DVD.

What would be the appropriate opposite of advance in "advance to the next feature"? Is "revert to the previous feature" the appropriate phrase?

* Feature in this case refers to a GIS feature (record), though this is irrelevant for the question.

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In the context of on-screen menu choices, normally the function would simply be labelled "Back", but for the more general case, "Go back" would be better. –  FumbleFingers Jan 13 '12 at 19:06

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

If you want a sentence, I would suggest return or go back:

Return to the previous feature.

Go back to the previous feature.

Revert to means change back to, not go back to.

If you're using buttons, you could consider being more concise, and have them say Next and Previous, or Forward and Back.

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I agree; revert would be probably understood similarly to "revert the last changes." –  kiamlaluno Jan 13 '12 at 19:36

The literal opposite of “advance” would be “retreat” or possibly “withdraw”.

If you don't want to use the commonly understood “Next” and “Previous”, I would actually suggest not using advance, but rather phrases tailored to your application domain that will be best understood by your particular specialized users.

“Forward” and “Back” may be more suitable as single-word labels.

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I completely agree with your logic. However, 'advance' is a verb and your suggested alternatives are not. –  Kris Jan 14 '12 at 8:12

Advance is a relic the magtape era: Advance (tape)/ Rewind (tape).

In the current paradigm, the equivalent terms would probably be 'forward'/'back(ward)', 'next'/'previous', etc.

Give me < > any day.

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You may say back or move back.

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