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  
collapsed (+).

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]", ...".

Cheers
Alan

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  
> 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
> menu).
>
> 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.
>
> HTH!
> Richard
>
>
> ------
> Richard G. Combs
> Senior Technical Writer
> Polycom, Inc.
> richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
> 303-223-5111
> ------
> rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
> 303-777-0436
> ------
>
>
>
>
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--
Alan Litchfield MBus(Hons), MNZCS
AlphaByte
PO Box 1941, Auckland, NZ. 1140
http://www.alphabyte.co.nz




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