I developed a software application, in which the user can create a video using some slides. What is the proper word for a button to create such a video:

  • Create Video
  • Generate Video
  • Make Video

What is their difference?

  • 2
    Any of the three will do. I would go for "Generate video" as the software will generate a video from the slides. All means pretty much the same thing. I would also like to suggest "Compile Video/Slides." – Usernew Dec 26 '15 at 7:18
  • With button labels (as with newspaper headlines) the need to conserve space often guides the choices one makes; the context also tends to eliminate nuance. In the context of a video software program, there is no difference in the meaning of these labels: "Pressing this button will start the process that produces a video file." – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 26 '15 at 12:25

There are some slight differences in how these three words are used. For example, you don't generate a cake.

Create means to make something from nothing, or to make something using a lot of creativity. A chef might create a new dish, but after it's been created, he might find himself making it every night.

Generate can mean produce something through a series of step prescribed by an algorithm, so it's a pretty safe word for anything built by software.

A button that said Generate Video might be emphasizing that the software will now make the video as was set up by the user, while a button that said Create Video might emphasize that the user is about to put the finishing touches on her creation. Yet Make Video is a viable option, too. One might argue that make is the simplest word of the three, and it might therefore be apt for software that might be used by children.

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  • 1
    Just a note that 'making a video' has overtones of production - lights, camera, props, etc. – Lawrence Feb 2 '17 at 9:27

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