Menu

A list of commands or options from which you can choose. Most applications now have a menu-driven component. You can choose an item from the menu by highlighting it and then pressing the Enter or Return key, or by simply pointing to the item with a mouse and clicking one of the mouse buttons.

The antithesis of a menu-driven program is a command-driven system, in which you must explicitly enter the command you want rather than choose from a list of possible commands. Menu-driven systems are simpler and easier to learn but are generally not as flexible as command-driven systems, which lend themselves more naturally to interaction with programs.

There are several different types of menus:

  • pop-up menu:A menu that appears temporarily when you click the mouse button on a selection. Once you make a selection from a pop-up menu, the menu usually disappears.
  • cascading menu: A submenu that opens when you selecta choice from another menu.
  • pull-down menu :A special type of pop-up menu that appears directly beneath the command you selected.
  • moving-bar menu :A menu in which options are highlighted by a bar that you can move from one item to another. Most menus are moving-bar menus.
  • menu bar :A menu arranged horizontally. Each menu option is generally associated with another pull-down menu that appears when you make a selection.
  • tear-off menu : A pop-up menu that you can move around the screen like a window.
  • Vangie Beal
    Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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