Write the sentence or phrase using all your wordcrafting skills.
Use controls in place of words.
If you're going to embed the controls in the middle of the phrase,
instead of at the end, this pattern works best with text fields,
dropdown lists, and combo boxes -- in other words, controls with
the same form factor (width and height) as words in the sentence.
Also, make sure the baseline of the sentence text lines up with
the text baselines in the controls, or it'll look sloppy. Size
the controls so that they are just long enough to contain the
user's choices, and maintain word spacing between them and the
This is particularly useful for defining conditions, as one might
do when searching for items or filtering them out of a display.
The Excel example below (and the Photoshop example in the book)
illustrates the point. Robert Reimann and Alan Cooper describe
this pattern as an ideal way to handle queries; their term for it
is "natural language output."
There's a big "gotch" in this pattern, however: it becomes very
hard to properly localize the UI, since comprehension now depends
upon word order in a natural language. For some international
products or web sites, that's a non-starter. You may have to
rearrange the UI to make it work in a different language; at the
very least, work with a competent translator to make sure the UI
can be localized.