Is there a better way to describe an app's feature as being dependent on the user's decision than saying it's 'user-set'?


  • The volume of a video's playback is 'user-set'.
  • The language is not.
  • I generally see "set by the user", "user-configurable", or "user-controlled", depending on the specific context. – Jeff Zeitlin Jun 19 '18 at 12:21
  • @JeffZeitlin Thanks. You can transform your comment into an answer. I didn't think of "user-configurable"! – ispiro Jun 19 '18 at 12:24
  • I'm a computer geek, so "configuration" is something that I naturally think of. I didn't post it as an answer because I don't have any backing for it - it's what's called "anecdotal" - and proper answers here are generally preferred to have backing. – Jeff Zeitlin Jun 19 '18 at 12:26
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    I'd use 'adjustable'. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 19 '18 at 14:16
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    @RegDwigнt While 'customizable' is good in general, some things are 'configurable' or 'adjustable', not 'customizable'. For example volume (of sound). While it may technically be 'customizable', I would use 'adjustable'. – ispiro Jun 19 '18 at 14:54

At the querent’s request, I am reposting my original comment as an answer, with the caveat that it is quite definitely anecdotal.

I generally see “set by the user”, “user-configurable”, or “user-controlled”, depending on the specific context. “User-configured” generally refers to a persistent setting that is specific to a computer program or environment, and which is unlikely to be changed frequently, such as text colors on the screen.

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    simply 'configurable' might do it? I mean , who else but the user? Every thing else is by design by the maker? – Tom22 Jun 19 '18 at 12:54
  • @Tom22 - no, sometimes the program investigates the computer, and sets those kinds of variables itself - in such cases, the settings may be configurable, but specifically removed from the control of the user. An example might be whether to even allow the user to set text colors, if there were no color-supporting display or display adapter in the system. – Jeff Zeitlin Jun 19 '18 at 13:20
  • I hear you - if you internally refer to "mobile configuration" certainly those settings might not all be user adjustable. I didn't mean 'defaults to be an answer to the question. But rereading your comment it wasn't pertinent so I will delete those comments of mine. – Tom22 Jun 19 '18 at 17:25

If you're writing this for consumers, I propose you avoid 'user' at all. 'User' is an impersonal word for programmers, not consumers.

Notice, in this article written for consumers, the authors explains that :

...it vigilantly listens to the volume output of your television and notices when the volume jumps above a certain level (set by you)."

It is increasingly common for manuals to use more personal language, such as 'you' rather than 'user'.

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