Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist









If your application uses mnemonics, the label for the component with the mnemonic contains the character that is its mnemonic. If the label does not naturally contain the character, the mnemonic is placed in parentheses following the label.  

A mnemonic is a single character that can be associated with any component that contains a text label. Mnemonics provide a fast way of selecting a component from the keyboard. To let the user know that there is a mnemonic associated with a selection, the mnemonic is underlined in the label of the selection by the toolkit. For a mnemonic to be underlined, the label for a selection needs to contain the mnemonic character. If the label does not contain the mnemonic, putting the mnemonic in parentheses following the label provides visual consistency. 



Mnemonic characters must be chosen for ease-of-location within the text of a label. Wherever possible, use the first character of the label. If that is not possible, try to use the last character of the label, or if there is more than one word, the first character of the second word. After that, go through the label from the second character on until a unique mnemonic is found. 



All mnemonics are case insensitive for activation.  

The user must be able to activate a mnemonic by pressing either the lowercase or the uppercase variant of the mnemonic key. 



When the location cursor is within a menu or a menu bar, pressing the mnemonic key of a component within that menu or menu bar moves the location cursor to the component and activates it. If a mnemonic is used for an option button or for a cascading button in a menu bar, pressing Alt and the mnemonic anywhere in the window or its menus moves the cursor to the component with that mnemonic and activates it.  

A mnemonic is generally activatable when the location cursor is within the component that contains the mnemonic. Pressing Alt and the mnemonic provides a way to activate a visible mnemonic when the location cursor is within the window that contains the mnemonic.