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Motif and CDE 2.1 Style Guide Reference
Component Activation (CDE)
Component activation refers to using controls to perform actions in CDE,
such as initiating an action choice.
RequiredPressing the SELECT button activates a push button.
RequiredWhen a push button has focus, pressing Select or Spacebar activates it.
RequiredWhen an activatable menu entry has the focus, pressing Select, Spacebar,
Enter, or Return activates the entry.
RequiredWhen the SELECT button is pressed over a push button, change the
appearance of the push button to indicate that releasing the SELECT button
will activate the push button. If, while the SELECT button is pressed, the
pointer is moved outside of the push button, restore the visual state. If,
while the SELECT button is still pressed, move the pointer back inside of the
push button and change the visual state again to indicate the pending
activation. If the SELECT button is pressed and released within a push button,
activate the button, regardless of whether the pointer has moved out of the
push button while it was pressed.
RequiredIf a selectable element of a collection is activatable, clicking the
SELECT button, pressing Select, or pressing Spacebar (except in text) selects
it. Double-clicking the SELECT button selects and activates it.
RequiredThe time allowed to detect a double-click (**doubleClickTime:
500) should be no less than 500 milliseconds.
RequiredIf your application uses accelerators (shortcut keys), the component with
the accelerator should display the accelerator key or key combination
following the label of the component.
RequiredIf a button with an accelerator is within a primary or secondary window,
or within a pull-down menu from its menu bar, make it activatable whenever the
input focus is in the window or the menu-bar system. If a button with an
accelerator is within a pop-up menu, make it activatable whenever the focus is
in the pop-up menu or the component with the pop-up menu.
An accelerator must be activatable from the window or component associated
with the accelerator.
RequiredIf your application uses mnemonics, the label for the component with the
mnemonic should contain the character that is its mnemonic. If the label does
not naturally contain the character, place the mnemonic in parentheses
following the label.
RequiredMnemonic characters must be chosen for ease-of-location within the text of
a label. Wherever possible, use the first character of the label. If that is
not possible, use the last character of the label or, if there is more than
one word, the first character of the second word. After that, go through the
label from the second character on until a unique mnemonic is found.
RequiredMake all mnemonics case insensitive for activation.
RequiredWhen the location cursor is within a menu or a menu bar, pressing the
mnemonic key of a component within that menu or menu bar moves the location
cursor to the component and activates it. If a mnemonic is used for an option
button or for a cascading button in a menu bar, pressing Alt and the mnemonic
anywhere in the window or its menus moves the cursor to the component with
that mnemonic and activates it.
RequiredWhen the user activates a tear-off choice, tear off the menu that contains
RequiredWhen a menu with a tear-off choice is posted, pressing the TRANSFER button
in the tear-off choice starts a tear-off action. As long as the TRANSFER
button is held, a representation of the menu should follow the movement of the
pointer. Releasing the TRANSFER button ends the tear-off action by unposting
the menu system, creating a new window at the current pointer location that
contains the contents of the menu, and giving focus to the new window in
explicit pointer mode.
RequiredWhen the user presses Help on a component. invoke any context-sensitive
help for the component or its nearest ancestor with context-sensitive help
RequiredProvide context-sensitive help at all locations.
Never use a "Help not available" message.
RequiredIf your application uses default push buttons in a window, highlight the
current default push button. When the focus is on a push button, make its
action the default action and highlight the push button. If the default action
in a window varies, some push button must always have default highlighting,
except when there is no current default action.
RequiredWhen focus is in a window with a default action and an activatable menu
does not have the focus, pressing Enter or Ctrl Return invokes the default
action. If focus is in a component other than multiline text or an activated
menu, Return also invokes the default action. These actions should have no
other effect on the component with the focus, unless the default action has
some effect on that component.
RequiredExcept in the middle of a button motion operation, make pressing Cancel
anywhere in a dialog box equivalent to activating the Cancel push button in
the dialog box.
RequiredIf your application supports expert activation, expert actions should
exist only as shortcuts to application features that are available through
Expert activation, using mouse double-clicking on buttons, provides a
convenient way for experienced users to perform certain tasks quickly.
However, new users and keyboard-only users need to be able to perform the same
RequiredWhen the focus is on a button used for expert activation, no default
action should be available, unless the default and expert actions are the
RequiredIf a component with an expert action is selectable, activating the expert
action first selects the component and then performs the expert action.
RequiredIf your application supports activation preview when the user presses the
SELECT button, remove the previewing information when the user releases the
SELECT button. Activation preview presents the user with additional
information that describes the effect of activating a button. This information
cannot interfere with the normal operation of the application.
RequiredPressing the Cancel key stops current interaction in the following
During a mouse-based selection or drag operation, it cancels the
During a mouse-based scrolling operation, it cancels the scrolling action
and returns the system to its state prior to the start of the scrolling
Anywhere in a dialog box that has a Cancel push button, it activates that
push button, except during a mouse-based selection or drag operation.
In a pull-down menu, it either dismisses the menu and moves the location
cursor to the cascading button used to pull it down, or it unposts the entire
menu system. In a pop-up menu, option menu, tear-off menu, or menu bar, it
unposts the menu system.
When the focus is in a torn off menu window, it closes the torn-off menu
Essential Related Topics
For more information, see the Cancel (Action and Choice), Mnemonic,
Shortcut Key, Undo, Redo, Repeat (Action Choices), and Window Navigation
Supplemental Related Topics
For more information, see the Selection reference page.
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