Pop-up menus

A pop-up menu lets the user choose one setting from a list. To display a pop-up menu, the user clicks the pop-up. Then the user drags to choose a menu item from the list that pops up.

When to use a pop-up menu

Use a pop-up menu when the user can choose one setting or command at a time from seven or more items. (The items are mutually exclusive.) You can also use a pop-up menu when there is not room for more than one item to be displayed.

Do not use a pop-up menu for toggled states. The pop-up shows the current setting or state in a group of settings. The user changes the setting by making another choice. In contrast, a toggled state indicates an on or off setting.

Pop-up menu layout

When you implement a pop-up menu, supply a name for each menu item. The CommonPoint application system automatically lays out the pop-up menu from the menu items you supply. Place a label above or to the left of the pop-up menu.

Pop-up menu interaction

When the user mouses down to open the pop-up menu, the triangle marks the currently selected item. The user drags to select the desired menu item, which then appears highlighted. The item selected by the user is displayed in the pop-up on the mouse up.

Autoscrolling and pop-ups

When all the items on a pop-up menu do not fit onscreen, autoscrolling is automatically enabled. If possible, you should position the pop-up in the dialog box or panel so that all the items on the menu are visible. However, the user might position the dialog box or panel so that all items cannot be displayed--for example, at the top of the screen.

If possible, the CommonPoint application system will shift the display of a pop-up menu so that all menu items are visible. (Autoscrolling is the last resort.) This shifting of the pop-up might cause the current setting to change. In some other interfaces, such as the Macintosh, autoscrolling is enabled to preserve the current setting.

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