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Context Menus for Graphical Editors

Context Menus for Objects

A context menu should be used for context sensitive interaction with the objects in a graphical editor. If an object is selected in an editor, and the context menu is opened, the context menu should only contain commands which are appropriate for the selection.

The categories within the context menu should be kept distinct from one another through the use of separators. If a category is not applicable for the selected object it should be hidden.

Open, Open With, Show In
Cut, Copy, Paste, Remove from Diagram, Delete, Rename
Other Plugin Additions

The Add category contains actions which add elements to the canvas. The Open category contains actions which open the selection in an editor. Navigate contains actions to refocus the view input, or reveal the view selection in another view. In the category other plug-in additions there could be two types of commands; common and specific. In the upper area place functions common to all the elements in the editor and below them place functions which are specific to certain elements in the editor. And the other categories are self explanatory.

Context Menus for the Canvas

When activating the context menu on the canvas of a graphical editor without any object being selected, the context menu must have the following categories.

Open With,
File > (Save as Image File, Print)
Copy, Paste
Arrange All, Filters
Zoom > (Zoom In, Zoom Out, Zoom to 100%, Zoom to Fit, Fit to Width, Fit to Height, Fit to Selection)
Update Diagram
Other Plugin Additions


Use the category 'Add' for adding child nodes or sub-components to the element. For more information see chapter on submenus.

Use 'Insert' for inserting rows or columns into a table.

There shall be a correlation between the context buttons and the context menus. Commands which appear on context buttons must appear as well in the context menu.


Use icons in menu items only when a function offered as a context menu item is also available in the main menu, toolbar, tool palette or as an Eclipse View icon and the function entry has an icon.

The following menu items must have an icon: Print, Undo, Redo, Cut, Copy, Paste, Arrange All, and Zoom.

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