Flato, Gillian wrote:

> Does anyone know what to call the type of menu where you 
> click on the plus sign and then the plus sign changes to the 
> minus sign and the menu displays below?

An abomination? ;-) 

I've commonly seen the plus/minus boxes as nodes in a directory or tree
structure, but I don't think I've ever seen a _menu_ that used them. And
I'd rather not. 

But maybe I'm thinking of the term "menu" too narrowly -- to me, it's a
set of commands listed under one of several top-level names (like File
or Edit), or displayed in response to a right mouse click (context

If you're using the term more broadly to refer to a list of values,
options, etc., I'd call it a list. If my audience were computer novices,
I'd call it a "drop-down list" and explain how to display it. But only
for real novices. 

In general, I don't name interface elements, just their labels. If
necessary for clarity, I'll refer to the X list, Y box, or Z button. But
I generally don't use terms like combo list, drop-down list, multi-edit
box, tree node, etc. Readers usually don't care what interface designers
call some widget as long as they can find it and understand what to do
with it. 

Pretty much everyone who isn't completely new to computers knows how
menus, lists, trees, buttons, check boxes, and radio buttons work.


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom

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