Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist

Dialog Box Layout







Controls within your dialog box are placed in a left-right, top-down layout based on the order in which the user is expected to fill out or choose options within the dialog box. 

Note -

This assumes that your application is being designed for a left-to-right language environment. Alternative design approaches may be necessary for other locales.



Push buttons that affect the dialog box as a whole, either by modifying its contents or layout, invoking the action of the dialog box, or dismissing the dialog box, are located at the bottom of the dialog box. 

In general, there should only be one row of buttons at the bottom of a dialog box. If your application has dialog boxes that contain several global buttons, it may be necessary to create two or more rows of buttons at the bottom of the dialog box. The last row should contain the standard dialog box buttons (OK, Reset, Cancel, and Help). If a dialog box contains buttons that are not related to the dialog box as a whole, but relate to a specific control within the dialog box, the buttons should be located with the control to which they relate. 



If your application provides an Apply button within a dialog box, it also provides an OK button or command button that performs the dialog box action then dismisses it. 



Your application does not use cascading buttons within dialog boxes unless there is absolutely no other design alternative that can be used without a negative impact on the layout of your dialog box. 

In general, cascading buttons should only be used within menus and menu bars. You should avoid their use in all other locations unless absolutely necessary. 



If your application needs to use cascading buttons outside of a menu pane, you should use the DtMenuButton widget.