I am writing for an Online Help system and one of the of the requirements is that we try to phrase the headings of topics as tasks when possible and appropriate (e.g. "How to print test pages" instead of naming the topic "Test pages"). A lot of subjects will include a topic on basic settings - which made me wonder: what does the user DO with settings, which verb would be preferable?
To me, the candidates seem to be:
- "Adjust settings": This has the most Google hits and surely sounds best to me, but that is mainly based on my gut feeling which might not be the most trustworthy source. This is not used in our Online Help so far.
- "Make settings": This is used in our Online Help, but does not sound quite right to me (maybe because I think about the German "machen", which would not be a good fit). This has a lot of hits on Google, but on second sight, there are a lot of results from the help systems of non-american/non-english companies, which at least makes me a bit wary. Other results have "make" in them, but in a slightly different context (e.g. there's "making settings persistent in GIMP"). But again, my main reason against "make" is my gut feeling.
- "Specify settings": This is also used in our Online Help and to me, it does not sound inherently wrong. Just not right for basic settings. This seems more fitting regarding settings that are, well, more specific. Third case of gut feeling right here.
So, native speakers out there, what would you prefer? Adjust, make, specify settings, or something else I haven't thought of?