Icon and Term Definitions Guidelines Print this Page
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Description and Purpose
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This document outlines the approach and mechanisms used to provide definitions for icons and terms in a way that maximizes the use of screen real estate and avoids unnecessary navigation. Merriam-Webster defines the word definition as a statement of the meaning of a word, word group, sign, or symbol. For the purposes of this document, a definition is a statement of the meaning of an icon or term used in the Oracle Fusion user interface (UI). Definitions for icons and terms are helpful for users when this information is used to interpret data that may not be self-explanatory.

In previous releases of Oracle applications, definitions for icons and terms were provided through key notation, usually below a header, subheader, or subtabs, or in content containers and dialog boxes. The dynamic nature (meaning that data comes from different sources into different parts of the page at runtime) of Oracle Fusion pages requires a new approach to providing definitions for icons and terms. Therefore, when creating Oracle Fusion icon and term definitions in the UI, use this guideline instead of the Rich Client User Experience (RCUX) Key Notation Usage Guideline.

Note: In the context of this guideline, the word terms includes abbreviations, acronyms, and currency codes. Additional details are provided in the Terms section within this guideline.

This document discusses usage guidelines for defining icons and terms and also provides URLs for related documentation.

Icon Usage
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Tooltips and Alt Text

A tooltip is the visible text that appears when users hover over an icon. Alt text is not visible but is read by screen reading assistive technology, such as JAWS. Alt text is the alternative text description of the image at the HTML Alt tag level. The text for both tooltips and Alt text comes from the same shortDesc property in the Application Development Framework (ADF).

Icon Definition and Interaction

Use tooltips and Alt text on icons to provide their associated definitions. The tooltip should name the action or meaning of the icon.

Here is an example of a tooltip for an icon definition in form layout:

Figure 1. Tooltip for an icon definition in form layout

Figure 2. shows an example of a tooltip for an icon definition in a table toolbar.

Figure 2. Tooltip for an icon definition in a table toolbar

Tooltip Text

The Oracle Fusion Icon Usage Guidelines provide suggested tooltip text for some common Oracle Fusion icons. The tooltip should name the action, concept, indicator, or status associated with the icon. In general, limit tooltip text for all icons to 40 characters. The maximum is 80 characters.

The Language in UI Usage Guidelines includes the recommendations for tooltip text.

Follow these guidelines for tooltip text:

  • For functional and functional status icons (both clickable):
    • Use headline capitalization for tooltip text.
      That is, place initial capitals on each word except for articles (a, an, the), prepositions, and coordinate conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, so, yet). For example, use headline capitalization for the tooltip "Add Row."
    • Do not show access keys in the tooltip.
  • For item qualifier, item indicator, and status icons (all nonclickable):
    • Use sentence capitalization for tooltip text.
      That is, use an initial capital for the first word in each phrase or sentence. For example, "Updated item or "In progress."
    • Note that proper nouns, such as San Francisco and Friday, always have initial capitals when placed in sentences.

Capitalization depends on the function of the tooltip, depending on whether it is being used as a label or as help text. This table provides examples of tooltip text for each icon type.

Icon Type
Icon File Name
Ends With
Icon Tooltip Text
Alt Text:
Headline Capitalization
Help Text:
Sentence Capitalization
If you are using a tooltip as an alternative textual (Alt text) label for an icon, use headline capitalization. If you are using a tooltip as help text, use sentence capitalization.

(16 x 16)
Enabled, hover, mousedown, disabled

 _ena.png add_ena.png

Add Row

Add Row

Not applicable

Functional Status
(12 x 12)
Enabled, hover, mousedown, disabled
 _ena.png clock_sm_ena.png

In Process

In Process

Not applicable

Item Qualifier
(16 x 16)
Display only
 _qualifier.png repeatingevent_qualifier.png

Repeating event
Not applicable Repeating event
Item Indicator or Flag
(12 x 12)
Display only
 _status.png updatedvalue_status.png

Changed item

Not applicable Changed item; New item
(12 x 12)
Display only
 _status.png dash_status.png

Trend unchanged

Used as an alternate textual (Alt text) label in a legend:

Trend Unchanged

Used as help text for an icon:

Trend unchanged

Table 1: Examples of tooltip capitalization on different icon types

For some icons, ADF automatically provides the tooltip, and you cannot override it. Tooltips for the commonly used * (Required) and ** (At least one is required) item indicator icons are automatically generated by ADF. The Common Oracle Fusion Icons section of the Oracle Fusion Icon Usage Guidelines notes all the icons that come from ADF with hard-coded, noneditable tooltips.

Definitions for Required and At least one is required in the ADF Query Component

The ADF af:query component contains hard-coded tooltips and hard-coded definitions for * (Required) and ** (At least one is required). Teams should suppress both term definitions in this component because tooltips address accessibility requirements.

The example in Figure 3 illustrates the location of the af:query component term definitions that you should suppress.

Figure 3. Icons for Required and At least one is required appear with tooltips; therefore, term definitions should be suppressed

Use of At least one is required in Components Other than ADF af:query

In Oracle Fusion, components other than ADF af:query do not support the use of double asterisks ("**") to indicate that at least one of multiple fields is required. In such cases, follow these recommendations:

  • Use static instruction text to indicate that at least one of multiple fields is required.
  • Use this instruction text format: "Enter a value for at least one of these fields: <field name>, <field name>, or <field name>." For example, "Enter a value for at least one of these fields: First Name, Last Name, or Email."
  • Field names should be listed in the order in which they display, starting at the top left and moving toward the bottom right (see figure 4).
  • Do not use the double asterisk (**) indicators in prompts because the additional manual coding will have to be undone in a later version of Oracle Fusion.

Figure 4 shows an example of a non-ADF af:query component in which at least one of multiple designated fields is required.

Figure 4. In non-ADF af:query panels, static instruction text informs users that at least one of multiple fields is required

Standard error messaging behavior applies if users do not fill in at least one of the referenced fields. For more information, see the following documents:


Some components, such as the Gantt chart, include their own component-specific legend for the icons used in the component. If a group of related icons, such as status icons, is used in a particular table, tree, or tree table, you can place a legend for those icons in close proximity to the component. You can use a panel box to group the icons and visually distinguish the legend. You include such legends in addition to the tooltips provided for the icons. Consider the following factors to determine whether a legend is necessary:

  • Speed of accessing an icon definition:
    • Users find it is faster to look at the legend than hover over the icons to see their meaning when either of the following are true:
      • Four or more related icons are used in the component.
      • Users interact infrequently with the page and are not likely to memorize the meaning of the icons.
  • Usage of page real estate:
    • The novice or infrequent user may prefer to see icon definitions in the legend.
    • The frequent or power user may consider tooltip text sufficiently useful and the legend less valuable.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Use headline capitalization for the text label associated with each icon inside the legend.
  • Do not use tooltips with icons inside the legend.
    • Icons in the legend are considered decorative images because each icon is immediately followed by a text label.
    • The icons themselves must be marked up as decorative to avoid replication (in HTML, ALT="").

Figure 5 shows a legend for component-specific icons. Note its placement below and end-aligned with the tree table.

Figure 5. Example of a legend for the component-specific icons
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What Is a Term?

Terms include abbreviations, acronyms, and currency codes:

  • An abbreviation is a shortened form of a single word that is used in place of the entire word or phrase.
    For example, org is an abbreviation for organization.
  • An acronym is an easily pronounced word formed from the initial letters or major parts of a compound term.
    For example, COBOL for common business-oriented language, pixel for picture element, and ASN for advance shipment notice.
  • Similarly, currency codes are three-letter codes used for uniquely identifying currencies, as described by the International Organization for Standardization standard ISO 4217.
    For example, BRL is the currency code for the Brazilian Real, and CHW is the currency code for the Swiss Franc that is used in both Switzerland and Liechtenstein. ISO 4217 currency names and codes are stored in the FND_CURRENCIES table. For more information on currency in Oracle Fusion, see the Currency Guidelines .

Usage Guidelines for Abbreviations and Acronyms

Follow these guidelines when using abbreviations and acronyms:

  • Use approved abbreviations and acronyms only when space for the full term or phrase is not available.
  • Use abbreviations and acronyms sparingly and with care, so as to avoid internationalization, usability, and accessibility problems.
  • If space considerations vary across the page, you can use both full terms or phrases and their associated abbreviations or acronyms on the same page.

Note that the full terms Debit and Credit are used in Figure 6 because adequate space is available.

Figure 6. Use of full spellings in table column headers

In Figure 7, both the full spelling of a term (purchase order) and its abbreviation (PO) are used because of space considerations on different parts of the page.

Figure 7. Use of an abbreviation in the two-column form layout and the full spelling used in the table

Accessing Term Definitions

You can find definitions for approved abbreviations, acronyms, and currency codes in the glossary of the Oracle Fusion Applications Help portal. Users can find definitions for terms by selecting the Oracle Fusion Applications Help item from the Help menu in the global area and querying the term in the glossary. Figure 8 shows an example of how users access the Oracle Fusion Applications Help portal.

Figure 8. Accessing the Oracle Fusion Applications Help portal

Figure 9. shows an example of querying terms in the glossary.

Figure 9. Querying a term in the Oracle Fusion Applications Help portal glossary

Single Currency with No Currency Codes

In one use case you should place a currency definition at the top of the page, in the header element that is used for scaling information. This condition occurs on pages that meet all three of the following criteria:

  • A single currency is used.
  • Monetary amounts occur frequently throughout the page.
  • To reduce visual clutter on the page, the three-letter currency code does not appear with each monetary amount on the page.

When all three criteria are met, define currency as follows:

  • Make the currency definition the first item in the scaling header element.
    For more information, see the Scaling section of the Page Header Region Guidelines.
  • If scaling is used on the page, insert the pipe character (|) to separate the currency definition and scaling information.
    • Use the syntax, Currency = {currency name}.
      ISO 4217 currency names and codes are stored in the FND_CURRENCIES table. Specifically, use the currency name stored in the NAME column of the FND_CURRENCIES table.
    • Use headline capitalization for the currency name.
      For example, Currency = US Dollar. Note that some currency names include abbreviations, such as US for United States in US Dollar and CFP for French Polynesia.

Figure 10. shows an example of a currency definition in the page header region's scaling header element.

Figure 10. Currency definition in scaling header element

For more information about currency in Oracle Fusion, see the Currency Guidelines .

For more information on the scaling header element, see the Page Header Region Guidelines.

Related Documentation
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Here are links to related documentation:

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