I have a user interface where I want to tell the users "Please update your configuration before uploading (read how)".

Is the "read how" part grammatical?

For various reasons I can't have the hyperlink in the body of the message (i.e. "update your configuration" can't be the link). I'm also hard pressed for space. Other suggestions are certainly welcome, but my main question is whether "(read how)" is an acceptable expression in this context.

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    It's grammatical but it's hideous. Why not make it a "how to" or even a simple "How?". Saves even more space. – RegDwigнt Aug 4 '15 at 11:17
  • Hideousness is definitely something I'd like to avoid :). Yes, "How?" is my main alternative right now. – Vitaly Mijiritsky Aug 4 '15 at 11:26
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    I have certainly seen links on web pages that were written "(read how)", as you suggest. It may, by some measures, be "hideous", but it's easy to understand and doesn't distract from the rest of the page. Simply saying "(how)" or "(how to)" would be more confusing/less clear, and clarity is very important. – Hot Licks Aug 4 '15 at 12:06
  • I have to agree with Dwight. It looks awful. I'd like to suggest "(learn more)" as an alternative to "how to." – Lumberjack Aug 5 '15 at 20:30
  • I think 'learn more' without the parenthesis looks good. (Click the help link when adding a comment here for an example :P) – Aaron Alphonsus Aug 6 '15 at 5:05

How about (Help)? Or just (?) I see that most often for the same purpose.


It did not parse for me until I read it four times. I suggest you rephrase. It sort of makes sense as it is but it is an unusual construction for me and too terse.

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