|Java TM Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics > Part I: General Topics > 3: Menus > Typical File Menu||
Ensure that the File menu is always the leftmost menu of the menu bar. In addition, ensure that the File menu's title is either "File" or the name of the object type that the window represents.
The New item, shown in Figure 26, enables users to create an object of the type that the window represents. (In contrast, the Open item, described on page 45, reopens an existing object of that type.)Figure 26 New Menu Item
To determine which variant of the New item to use, decide whether your application will enable users to create objects in the current primary window, in a new primary window, or in either. A task analysis can help you make this decision. (To learn about task analysis, see a book such as User and Task Analysis for Interface Design, described in "Related Books" on page 4.) Window Management and the File Menu can also help you decide which variant of the New item fits your application.
If users can create more than one type of object, the File menu can list more than one variant of the New item. For example, the File menu might list a New Mailbox item and a New Message item. If users can create 10 or more types of objects, consider using a New... menu item to display a dialog box where users can choose a type of object.
In a File menu, ensure that the New Window item (if present) creates a primary window--typically one containing a new view of the same objects displayed in the current primary window. If a menu item behaves in this way, label it New Window.
If users can set parameters of a new object, include a New... or New File ... item in the File menu. Display a dialog box to help users set the new object's parameters before the application creates the object. For example, an email application might display a dialog box to let users name a mailbox before the application creates it.
In the File menu, if the New item has a submenu, assign the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-N to the most frequently used submenu item.
For help in deciding which variant of the Open item fits your application, see Window Management and the File Menu.
If your application needs a dialog box for choosing files, use the file- chooser dialog box in the Swing API of the Java Foundation Classes.
If only one primary window remains open, ensure that the File menu's Close item behaves like that menu's Exit item. For a description of the Exit item, see Exit Item.
If closing a window will discard a user's unsaved changes, warn the user by displaying an alert box.
If your application needs a Print Options dialog box, use the print- chooser dialog box in the Swing API of the JFC (Java Foundation Classes).
If your application's users can set preferences, include a Preferences item in the File menu.
If a window's leftmost menu is named for the window's top-level object type (referred to here as File ), and that object type has properties that users can display, ensure that the File menu includes an item labeled File Properties.
Many applications provide a Most Recently Used (MRU) list so that users can reopen objects. The MRU list is a dynamic list of a user's most recently opened objects. The first object on the list is the one most recently used. If your application has an MRU list, assign mnemonics to the MRU numbers in the list, as shown in Figure 28.Figure 28 Most Recently Used (MRU) List in a File Menu
If a File menu has a Most Recently Used list, ensure that the list displays no more than 10 objects.
The Exit item terminates an application, closing all its windows--no matter how many primary windows are open. In applications that can display multiple primary windows, the File menu includes an Exit item and a Close item. The Close item closes only the current primary window and then terminates the application if no other primary window is open. If just one primary window is open, the Exit item and the Close item have the same effect. (For more information on the Close item, see page46.)
In applications that can display only a single primary window, the Exit item is the only way to close that window from the File menu. In such applications, the File menu does not include a Close item.
If terminating the application will discard a user's unsaved changes, warn the user by displaying an alert box.
|Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics.
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