Using Quoted Text Effectively

Learn how word choice, spelling and grammar, and syntax affect your test results.

How Quoted Text Works

Our testers are trained to read test instructions and match precisely what appears in quoted text. To determine their response, they compare what you’ve written to what’s in your application. There are 3 criteria testers use to form their judgment on the quoted text:

  1. Word choice
  2. Spelling and grammar
  3. Syntax

The tester’s evaluation is strict. If there’s any difference between the instructions and the corresponding web page or application, the tester fails the test. This applies whether you use single or double quotes.

Note: Testers do not report differences in capitalization unless you make it a requirement.

Word Choice

Be mindful of word choices in quoted text. Similar or commonly interchangeable words might cause testers to fail a test.

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Word Choice Example

The test step instructs the tester to click the “Login” button. The button actually reads “Log In” in the application. As a result, the tester fails the test. There are two solutions:

  1. Match the instruction to the button text.
  2. Remove the double quotes.

Spelling and Grammar

Spelling and grammar issues between the quoted text and what’s in the app impact the results.

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Spelling and Grammar Example

The test step instructs the tester to key in “password1.” Placing the ending double quote outside the period is grammatically correct for US English. However, the tester reads the period as part of the password in the quoted text. There are two solutions:

  1. Rephrase the instruction so the period is not required.
  2. Remove the double quotes.

The Quotes Rule Indicator

When a user includes quotes in their test step, a note displays a message advising you what the tester sees.

A message displaying quoted text.A message displaying quoted text.

A message displaying quoted text.

Using an Underscore to Append a Value

There is an exception to the quoted text rule. When you include an underscore (_) in the quoted text, it represents a placeholder. Testers do not report this. The underscore is replaced with a value such as “example test 500” when the test runs.

A message displaying quoted text with an underscore.A message displaying quoted text with an underscore.

A message displaying quoted text with an underscore.


If you have any questions, reach out to us at [email protected] or via the chat bubble below.


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