- Drop-down menu
- Icon bar
- Action Bar
There are various methods to create menus, depending on the target platform of your application:
Drop-down menus exist since the early versions of Windows. It's an easy method to implement in an application. This type of menu is almost always present on the first window of the program.
In WINDEV, this type of menu is positioned at the top of the window, below the title bar, and it occupies a simple bar. However, this type of interface is now outdated and has since been replaced by Ribbon menus.
In WEBDEV, this type of menu can be positioned at the top of the page or on the side (on the left in most cases). Positioned in a page template, it is displayed in each page of the site. The Site Map Path control is often associated with a menu in Web in order to store the progression of the user in the Web site.
For more details, see:
The icon bar is always associated with a drop-down menu. In most cases, an icon bar is not used on its own.
The icon bar represents, via small graphic buttons, the shortcuts for the main options found in the drop-down menu. Furthermore, the icon that is drawn is the same as the one that is associated with the equivalent option in the drop-down menu.
In most cases, the icon bar includes several small icon bars, in order to classify the actions by theme. The icon bars can be floating, aligned at the top, at the bottom, on the right, on the left.
Icon bars are often used in multi-window or MDI applications. In this case, the main window (that hosts the drop-down menu and the icon bars) is in the background and it is used as support for the child windows.
The Ribbon control is a concept used to organize the actions of an application. It replaces the "Drop-down menu/Icon bar" couple. A ribbon contains tabs and groups. A grouping contains simple buttons or arrow buttons in order to propose an action or several actions.
This type of interface is modern but it is more restricting because the users must get used to this new organization.
You have the ability to create menus with simple buttons.
This type of interface is well suited to a touch environment (touch screen - tablet or smartphone application). However, the created buttons will have to be bigger (with a size if greater than the standard size) because the finger will be used rather than the mouse cursor.
Benefit of this method: very easy to implement and to create. If you want to create several levels of buttons, all you have to do is distribute them in different windows or in different planes.
The links are kind of restyled buttons. This type of control is mainly used in a Web site but you also have the ability to create links in a WINDEV application.
They are used in a way similar to buttons. Buttons and links are very similar, except for their appearance.
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