I too do not recall seeing these referred to as menus, but they often
turn up as states of a hierarchical information tree that gives access
to various program functions. The two states being expanded (-) or
If I were to call it anything I guess it would be a tree and use terms
like "click [x] to expand", "click [x] to collapse", "click on [x],
then...", etc. Usually the trees I have seen are within a zone on the
interface and so I tend to refer to the zone's name, so "in [zone y],
click on [x]", ...".
On 11/04/2008, at 8:09 AM, Combs, Richard wrote:
> 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
> structure, but I don't think I've ever seen a _menu_ that used them.
> 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
> 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.
> I generally don't use terms like combo list, drop-down list, multi-
> box, tree node, etc. Readers usually don't care what interface
> 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
> You are currently subscribed to Framers as alan at alphabyte.co.nz.
> Send list messages to framers at lists.frameusers.com.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> framers-unsubscribe at lists.frameusers.com
> or visit
> Send administrative questions to listadmin at frameusers.com. Visit
> http://www.frameusers.com/ for more resources and info.
Alan Litchfield MBus(Hons), MNZCS
PO Box 1941, Auckland, NZ. 1140