context-sensitive menu

<operating system> A menu which appears in response to a user action (typically a mouse click) and whose contents are determined by which application window was clicked or has the input focus.

Most GUIs use a secondary mouse button (right or middle) to call up a context-sensitive menu as the primary mouse button is normally used to interact with objects which are already visible.

The context-sensitive menu often contains functions that are also available in a menu bar but the context-sensitive menu provides quick access to a subset of functions that are particularly relevant to the window area clicked on.

The RISC OS WIMP uses only context-sensitive menus (always invoked using the middle mouse button). This saves screen space and reduces mouse movement compared to a menu bar.

Last updated: 1999-09-22

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Nearby terms:

context clash « COntext Dependent Information Language « context-free « context-sensitive menu » context switch » Contextually Communicating Sequential Processes » continental drift

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