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Motif and CDE 2.1 Style Guide Reference

File Menu



The File menu includes the following choices:

A cascading choice that appears as a menu-bar item. It provides access to other menu items that allow a user to invoke actions for storage, data transfer, and display of the object, file, or data being viewed in the window.

A dialog choice that prepares and arranges data to be printed.

Print Setup
An action choice that opens a window in which the user can set the parameters for printing.

An action choice that resets a view of an object or file to the state it was in when the object or file was last opened or last changed, whichever is more recent.

When to Use


If you provide any of the functionality specified for the choices defined for a File menu, provide a File choice on the menu bar.


In conjunction with the Menu Guidelines reference page, use Table 14 to decide which of the choices listed to include in the File menu and how to organize them.

Table 14. File Menu Choices

Mnemonic Menu Choice Keyboard Function
Required N New Ctrl N
Required O Open ... Ctrl O
Required S Save Ctrl S
Required A Save As ...

Copy To ...
Move To ...

Recommended P Print ... Ctrl P
Recommended R Print Setup

Recommended C Close
Required X Exit

If an application does not have a state or contents that needs to be named and persistently stored, then do one of the following:

  1. Replace the File choice's label with one identifying the application.

  2. If the application manages a single type of element and uses a Selected menu whose label has been replaced with the name of that type, eliminate the File menu and place Close (if needed) and Exit at the end of the Selected menu.

  3. Optional
    The File menu can include (at the end, preceded by a separator) a list of files previously viewed by the user that are no longer viewed in the current window (or optionally in any open window of the application). This list generally has a maximum length and can be optionally limited to the files viewed since starting the application or the session.

    When the user chooses Revert, modify the displayed state to revert to the state last saved or, if the state has not been saved, to the initial state.

    Do not support Revert if significant aspects of the data being viewed depend upon data provided continually (or intermittently) through an external source. If the user has indicated (through property settings) that the view should not automatically be changed as new data arrives, or if new data does not arrive automatically, provide a Refresh choice that explicitly obtains the new data, if necessary, and refreshes the view.

    If there is a selection, the Print dialog allows the user to specify that just the selected region is to be printed.

    You can use Revert as a dialog or cascading choice if more than one kind of reversion is supported.

    Essential Related Topics

    For more information, see the Close (Choice), Exit (Choice), Menu (Control), Menu Guidelines, New (Action Choice), Open (Choice), and Save/Save As (Action Choice) reference pages.

    Supplemental Related Topics

    For more information, see the Help (Menu/Action Choice) and Menu Bar (Menu Type) reference pages.

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