Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist

Window Titles

The following guidelines should be followed when defining titles for your primary and secondary windows.



The title of your primary window (the main window your application displays to the user) should be the name of your application. 

Note that this does not have to be the actual name of the executable invoked by the user. 

Carefully consider how the title you choose for your primary window works when it is used in icons and pop-up windows. If the name of the pop-up window is too long, you may remove the application title, but remember that without the title users might have difficulty telling which pop-up windows belong with the originating primary window. 



Use initial capital letters for each word in the title (in languages that support capitalization). 



Follow the application name for each property window, as a minimum, with the title Properties and the name of the object it affects. 



Begin the title of each pop-up window with the application title followed by a colon, then the title of the pop-up window. The colon should have a space both before and after it for readibility. 

Pop-up windows should always indicate which primary window they are associated with (which primary window invoked that pop-up). 



Use a hyphen to denote the current file name, when the application has files that can be loaded or saved. The hyphen should have a space before and after it. Only the base name of the file should be displayed, not the entire path. 

The hyphen is used to denote specific instances of a window or data. The colon serves to delimit general categories or commands. For example, a file manager might have the following title for a Properties dialog box: 

File Manager : Properties - myfile 



Follow the application name for each command window with the same title that is on the window button or window item users choose to display that window. 



In the case of multiple primary windows, include the application name at the beginning of each window title, and add a name that uniquely identifies that primary window. No separator should be provided for these names (for example, Calendar Manager Multibrowse, Catalog Search, Admintool Databases). 



An abbreviated name for the application may be used on other windows, so long as it is done on all windows.