Java TM Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics > Part II: Special Topics > 2: Windows > Action Windows   Previous Next Contents/Index/Search


 

Action Windows

Action windows are dialog boxes that request information for completing an action. Open an action window if a user activates a menu command or command button that requires additional user input to complete an action. Figure 16 shows an action window.

Figure 16   Action Window

 

As shown in Figure 16, an action window contains:

  • Title bar
  • Controls
  • Button area

An action window has no menu, toolbar, or status bar.

The label of a menu command or command button that opens an action window ends with an ellipsis (...). The ellipsis means that the command requires additional user input.

Like property windows, action windows can be:

  • Modal or modeless
  • Single-use or multiple-use

For more information about these characteristics, see Chapter 8 of Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines , 2d ed.

For information about positioning an action window in relation to its parent window, see Positioning Secondary Windows.

 Ensure that an action window has no menu, toolbar, or status bar.

 Place an ellipsis (...) at the end of the label for a menu command or command button that opens an action window.

Title Text in Action Windows

The title text of an action window helps users understand the window's purpose. An action window's title text includes:

  • The name of the object that the action window affects (if you know the name)
  • The name of the menu item or command button that opened the action window (omitting any trailing ellipsis)

Figure 17 shows the title text of an action window opened from a Print menu item. The window affects an object named MySalesForecast.

Figure 17   Title Text in the Title Bar of an Action Window

 

If an action window enables a user to create an object, the window's title text cannot include that object's name because the object does not yet exist. Figure 18 shows the title text of such an action window, opened from a New Rivet menu item.

Figure 18   Title Text of an Action Window That Creates a New Object

 

In Figure 18, the title text shows only the name of the menu item that opened the action window.

 In the title text of an action window, include the name of the menu item or command button that opened the action window. Omit the name's trailing ellipsis, if there is one.

 If an action window affects an existing object, format the title text like this: Object Name - Menu Item . (Precede the hyphen by one space and follow it by one space.)

 If an action window creates a new object, make the window's title text the name of the menu item or command button that opened the window.

 If a user might not recognize the source of a particular action window, format the title text like this: Object Name - Menu Item - Application Name . (Precede each hyphen by one space and follow it by one space.)

 In a modeless action window, ensure that the title text always reflects the object that the window affects.

Command Buttons in Action Windows

Action windows have the following command buttons (in left-to-right order):

  • One or more command buttons that perform actions
  • One dismissal button
  • One Help button (optional)

The command buttons are right-justified in the window's button area, as shown in Figure 19.

Figure 19   Command Buttons in an Action Window (Multiple-Use)

 

An action window's leftmost command button performs an action using values from the window's controls. For example, in Figure 19, the Replace button performs an action using the value that the user enters in the input field labeled Replacement.

The Help button, if there is one, is always rightmost in the button area, as in Figure 19. (For more information about the Help button, see Chapter 8 of Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines , 2d ed.)

An action window's rightmost command button (or the one directly to the left of the Help button) closes the window.

If an action window has additional buttons, each one performs a different action using the values from the window's controls. The additional buttons are between the leftmost and rightmost buttons.

The correct labels to use for an action window's command buttons depend on whether the window is for single-use or multiple-use:

  • In a single-use action window, you can label the first button OK--although a more specific label, such as Print, is better. The window's dismissal button must be labeled Cancel.
  • In a multiple-use action window, you should assign the first button a meaningful label, such as Replace. The window's dismissal button must be labeled Close, as in Figure 19.

In action windows with two or more buttons that can perform an action, each button needs a unique action-specific label. Do not label a button OK in such a window.

 Ensure that each action window has (in left-to-right order) one or more command buttons that perform actions, one dismissal button, and, optionally, a Help button.

 Action windows can be single-use or multiple-use. In a single-use action window, ensure that all command buttons (except the Help button) perform their action and then close the window. In a multiple-use action window, ensure that all command buttons except the Close button perform their action and leave the window open.

 In a single-use action window, label the dismissal button Cancel. In a multiple-use action window, label the dismissal button Close.

 If users can perform only one action from a single-use action window, label the window's command button OK, or preferably, provide a more specific label. However, if the window has more than one button that can cause an action, do not label any button OK. Instead, provide a more specific label for each button.

 In an action window, ensure that clicking the dismissal button immediately discards all data entered in that window.

 In an action window, ensure that clicking the title bar's close-window control has the same effect as clicking the window's dismissal button.


Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics.
Copyright 2001. Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Previous Next Contents/Index/Search
Left Curve
Java SDKs and Tools
Right Curve
Left Curve
Java Resources
Right Curve
JavaOne Banner
Java 8 banner (182)