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The Motive Web Design Glossary

contextual menu / context menu

A contextual menu is a list of commands displayed as a result of a standard keystroke and/or mouse interaction. The list of commands shown is determined by where, on the screen, the user clicks.

For example a contextual menu may be shown when holding down the [control] key when the cursor is over a button or image.

Contextual menus are not visible until the user initiates the correct mouse and or keyboard ‘combo’.

The menu are often used to support common, repetitive tasks, as an alternative to keystroke shortcuts or using the menu bar at the top of the screen.

In a web browser contextual menus can be used to interact with the contents of a webpage. For example: to view the source HTML code; open a link in a new window; or save/download an image.

Saving/downloading an image

To demonstrate how contextual menus work, let’s assume that you’ve taken a liking to the Motive logo (in the top left of the screen).

  1. With your cursor over the logo, [control] + click-and-hold [Mac] or right-mouse click-and-hold [PC]
  2. A contextual menu will be displayed, listing the available commands for the image (note that the logo is also a link to the Motive homepage)
  3. Choose an option from the list and release the mouse button to: save/download the file to your computer, open the logo image in a new window, or even set the Motive logo as your desktop background (!!!)

Related terms: gui, interface, label, wysiwyg


Motive Web Design Glossary Trivia