Action icons in menus

Markus Slopianka markus.s at
Fri Dec 24 19:44:54 GMT 2010

Btw, I just saw that Chromium 10 follows a similar approach

On Monday 13 December 2010 20:56:17 Miha Čančula wrote:
> I have recently come across an idea on KDE Brainstorm. [1] The proposal is
> to change the common actions in menus (cut, copy and paste) from text
> lines to icons, like in application toolbars. It is currently the most
> popular idea there.
> Someone posted a proof-of-concept example of how this can be achieved, and
> I used it for Dolphin's popup menu. [2] Code-wise, this change is very
> simle (5 lines of code at most). Qt can embed custom widgets to menu via
> the QWidgetAction class, and this class can contain a KToolBar. It has to
> be done for each application, but there's very little work involved. If
> the idea is accepted, a convenience method or two would be added to KMenu
> and/or KStandardAction, so there could be a global settings to fall back
> to current mode.
> However, it is a major change for user interaction. So I'd like to start a
> discussion whether such a change is desired for KDE applications or not.
> The pros and cons I can think of right now are: Pro:
>   1. Biger clickable area => less chance of misclicks
>   2. Icons, when they are intuitively identifiable with an action, can be
> recognised by humans faster and much easier. I think the above makes it
> better from a usability standpoint, but as a programmer I wouldn't know
> much about that.
> Con:
>   3. For actions that are not easily identifiable by an icon, this is very
> bad. This is the reason only some of the actions would be converted to
> icon display, as you can see from the mockups and screenshots. 4. It looks
> (a little) like the ribbon UI.
> I personally believe such a change is a good thing. However, there must be
> limits. Using it in right-mouse-button menus is one thing, using it in the
> File menu is another. I would very much like to know how you feel about
> this.
> Thank you,
> Miha Čančula
> [1]:
> [2]:

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