Projects/Usability/HIG/Menu Bar/View Menu

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The View menu is a place for options which configure various content and display settings. Many of these options are toggles, such as turning on and off

Options that should be listed in the View menu:

  • Show/hide menubar, statusbar, panels, toolboxes
  • Show/hide information elements such as previews
  • Alternate window layouts such as splitting
  • List sorting options
  • Full screen mode
  • Zooming controls

Toolbars in Settings or View?

The option to toggle the visibility of toolbars is currently in the Settings menu. There have been several discussions over the years about whether toolbar visibility should be in Settings or View. One of the arguments is that the configuration option for configuring toolbars resides in the Settings and so the two related options should be together. However, there are several arguments for why toolbar visibility should be in View.

Conceptually, toolbars are "window elements", the same as menubar, statusbar, and panels in a window. These other window elements currently reside in the View menu. This is important to note for two reasons. One, it establishes that View seems to be a logical place to put this type of configuration options. Two, since toolbars are conceptually similar to the mentioned window elements. Users will think of them as the same and use what they have learned with the other window elements ("I cam configure the menubar visibility here") and apply it to toolbars ("I assume I can also configure the toolbar visibility here since it is similar to the menubar"). There is anecdotal evidence that even users who have used and learned the position of the toolbar visibility option continue to make the mistake of looking in View for the option.

Also, non-KDE applications which are often coinstalled with KDE applications, such as Firefox and OpenOffice, place the toolbar visibility controls in the View menu. The argument is not that Firefox and OpenOffice do it the "right way", simply that an added benefit of changing KDE toolbar visibility to View would increase consistency with non-KDE applications, and improve the overall experience.

Other View Inconsistencies

  • In most KDE4 applications, toggle menubar is in View, but in Dolphin it is in Settings
  • Page navigation controls (back, forward, stop, refresh) live in view, which seems strange because they are not related to the display. What is a alternative for these types of controls?

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