I need a shorter version of a phrase "Take into account magnetic declination" for user interface in my application. I am considering on of these:

  • Use magnetic declination
  • Count magnetic declination
  • Account magnetic declination

But I am not sure which one is better, as I am not a native English speaker.

  • 7
    It is trendy to say factor in.
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 13:25
  • 7
    What about "account for"?
    – Matt M
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 19:44
  • 2
    I don't think your use case explanation tells us enough. "Take into account" could mean more than one thing. For example, am I telling the USER to take something into account, or am I telling the COMPUTER to consider. If it's the computer (like there's a checkbox next to it or something), I would suggest leaving the verb phrase off and just saying "Magnetic Declination", because the checkbox implies that I'm telling the computer to use something (checked) or not use it (unchecked). Computers don't really "take things into account" (which means consider or deliberate), at least not yet. :-)
    – Calphool
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 19:49
  • 1
    Adjust for magnetic declination Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 2:49
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth I think that everyone jumped on the bandwagon of "what would I say, in writing or conversation, if I wanted to convey the same thing I meant by 'take into account magnetic declination'". In that case, sure, all the upvoted suggestions are good. But I think they are all pretty awkward for a computer user interface. Having re-read Joe Rounceville's comment, I'll just refer you to that--I think he's got it exactly right, except that you might as well use "use" in front of it, because it's clearer. 'the checkbox implies that I'm telling the computer to use something'(emph mine)
    – msouth
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 21:39

11 Answers 11


"Consider magnetic declination".

That said, there's an advantage to the more explicit "take into account", though I would phrase it "take magnetic declination into account". It's clearer and as such unless there was a limit on space, I'd favour it.

  • 2
    Consider would certainly work and would arguably be the best wording in (scientific) prose (+1). As button text I'm less sure, and it might depend on the (implied) rest of the text: On a page of options headed "when calculating north" include would work as well or better.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 15:21
  • 1
    I would only use "consider" if this is for an instruction to the user. If it is to indicate that the user wishes the application to include this portion of a calculation or similar, then this wouldn't make as much sense. In my mind, an app cannot "consider" as this involves thought.
    – Klors
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 11:07
  • "Consider" was the exact word that came into my mind when I saw this question's title in the HNQ list.
    – Justin
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 22:39
  • -1 Most likely the UI element is an option that controls the behavior of a calculation and instructs it to either account for or not account for magnetic declination. In this scenario, "consider" is not appropriate.
    – Eric
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 2:56
  • @Eric either the calculation considers it or it doesn't.
    – Jon Hanna
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 10:11

If this is a passive label (ie. indicating something to the user) I'd use either

Includes magnetic declination [or]

Accounts for magnetic declination

If it's an active label (as in a trigger, e.g. a user-clickable button) I'd go for

Include magnetic declination [or]

Add magnetic declination [or even just]

Magnetic declination (as long as it's obvious it's active, eg. with a tick box)

(the operation performed doesn't necessarily have to be addition for you to use add)

  • 3
    +1 for the (critical) active/passive distinction in the UI.
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 13:11

"Allow for" is about half the length of "take into account".

  • Except it makes absolutely no sense in connection with “magnetic declination”. Because you are not allowing it, you are either including it in the calculation or you are ignoring it and getting inexact result.
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 21:20
  • 1
    @JanHudec - Allow for means something completely different to allow. 'Allow for' is perfectly valid in this context.
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 2:29

Corrected for / normalized for?

  • 1
    I like "Corrected for", but I think the correct tense would be "Corrects for..."
    – philshem
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 16:04
  • 2
    Parallel to take into account would make it correct for; if this is for a checkbox on a UI, then I think this suggestion is the clearest.
    – user295691
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 16:01

One word:

-Include/consider/deliberate magnetic declination

  • To deliberate means to carefully think or talk something through

    Two words:

    • allow for
    • think twice

    Three words:

    • Bear in mind
    • take into account

Heed would fit the meaning:

verb (used with object)

1. to give careful attention to

also note:

verb (used with object)

  1. to observe carefully; give attention or heed to

and mind

verb (used with object)

  1. to pay attention to.

I think that please note the magnetic declination would be best in this context


I would say

Account for




It would probably help your cause if you determine the max length you want to use. My first thought though was "Account for magnetic declination". It is similar to your third consideration, and just seems to sound better to my ears.


Adjust for or Adjust By: magnetic declination

meaning that the calculation will be altered by a function of magnetic declination.

Also, from a UX viewpoint, if you have more than one thing that may be adjusted for in your calculation, you can group them and apply the description (adjust for, or whatever you choose) to the group as a whole, so you only need to use the phrase once, rather than repeat it for each other factor.



Toggle magnetic declination

But if there's a checkbox next to the the label, it makes the word 'Toggle' redundant.

Or, if 'magnetic declination' is one of several settings which can be turned on/off, use a panel with the heading "Settings". Inside the panel list each setting, including 'magnetic declination', with a checkbox beside each.


Actually, I think your first suggestion was right. If I were looking at a phone interface, I would think that checking a box called "use magnetic declination" would mean that I was telling the application to "use magnetic declination in its calculations/operation".

There are a lot of good alternatives here, but if what you're trying to do is this:

 Ask the user if the phone should take into account magnetic declination

then a speaker of English, at least an American one, would totally understand "use" to mean that.

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