Can one explain me a little about the use of When save.

I have many posts in others about describing such things.

Consider I'm describing a process: saving one (MS Word)file as html.

When saved as as html, they are/were . . .

When saving as html, they are/were . . .

When I save them as html, ...

When I saved them as html, ...

When I've saved them as html, ...

I'm poor in grammar, I'm not sure which is best. And the choice of the past participle and the present participle, Maybe some subjunctive in Clause lead by When?

  • Could you give a complete sentence as an example? Who are they? If you're saving a single file as HTML, you shouldn't refer to it as they or them. – snailplane Jul 29 '13 at 1:52

If you are describing a process you always want to keep it third person. In other words, no I or you.

When saving as HTML, make sure to check the box that says . . .

is an example of instruction in your process list. The whole sentence is present tense and present suggests action.

When saved as HTML, this is how the page should look . . .

is an example of an expectation you are setting for your reader. If they don't see what you describe in second part of the sentence then they know they did something wrong. The sentence is written in past tense and past suggests observation.

  • Good advice, I agree. +1. Would you mind editing to address the OP's use of "good shown", which is incorrect? – WendiKidd Jul 28 '13 at 15:08

The most important thing to ask yourself is will this be clear to the reader?

If you write

When saved as HTML

you are not specifying what is saved as HTML or who is saving it. If this is all clear from the context, then your sentence is fine. However, if it will cause the reader to stop and wonder what is being saved as HTML and who is saving it, then you should rewrite it.

When I save the document as HTML

There is a slight difference between using present tense (when I save) or past tense (when I saved):

When I save the document as HTML, it is garbled when I open it in a web browser.

suggests a repeatable problem, whereas

When I saved the document as HTML, it was garbled when I opened it in a web browser.

suggests a problem that happened only once.

If this is not an important distinction in terms of the reader's understanding, it does not matter whether you use save or saved.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.