Error and Warning Message Text

The language you use for error, warning, and other messages must fit within the style and tone of the vSphere Web Client.  A standard Icon (information, warning, error, or  confirmation) appears to the left of the message to delineate it.  

Types of Messages

The vSphere Web Client provides these standard types of messages.

Message Icon Description
Information Calls attention to a harmless condition.  Use this blue information icon to highlight informational text in the UI, such as a tip.  Use the gray information icon (nid%3D1406%7Ctitle%3D%7Cdesc%3DGray%20information%20icon%7Clink%3Dnode) as an entry point for  signpost help.
Warning Warns about a condition that might cause harm in the future.
Error Reports a problem that has already happened.
Confirmation Asks users to confirm an action.


You can present error and warning messages within the context of the UI and in an alert dialog.

  • Place a message within the context of the UI if the message text is two lines or fewer and users can interpret the text without background information.  An in-place message uses a 16-by-16 pixel icon.  

  • Use an alert dialog when you want to demand the users' attention or ask them to acknowledge a situation.


Consult the Writing Style standard, and also consider these factors when writing message text: 

  • Whenever possible, provide names, locations, and values of the objects involved.
    Host is not in maintenance mode.  Place the host in maintenance mode, and then remove the host.
  • If a problem exists, state why the problem occurred, and how to remedy the situation, even if the remedy is "Contact your administrator."
       Cannot verify the SSL certificate for one or more vCenter Server systems. Check the vSphere Web Client Administration tool and make sure that the SSL certificate is installed.
  • Use a direct question when asking users to confirm an action.  Don't start with "Are you sure...?" or "Do you want to..."  

    Original:  Are you sure you want to disconnect the selected host?
    Rewrite:  Disconnect selected host?
  • Don't blame the user.
  • Avoid the words "please" and "sorry."
  • Write complete sentences and use ending punctuation.
    Message Type Icon Example Text
    Information Elastic port groups automatically increase or decrease the number of ports as needed.
    Warning Rescanning a cluster might take a few minutes. During this time, vMotion might not be operable and some datastore operations might be disallowed.
    Error Cannot power on the virtual machine.  The host is licensed to run 100 virtual machines and you have reached this limit.  Upgrade the host license or power off a virtual machine on this host.
    Confirmation Close this Getting Started tab now?  You can restore all Getting Started tabs by selecting Help > Show all Getting Started Pages.

Related Topics

Average (0 Votes)