Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist

Guidelines for Expandable Windows and Dialog Boxes



The primary pane of the dialog box or window should contain all of the controls needed to complete the task. This should include all critical and frequently used functionality. 



It is assumed that infrequently used features are placed in the secondary pane. The core functionality of the application should not depend on any controls placed in secondary panes. 



Command buttons are aligned along the bottom of the dialog box. When the window is expanded to show a secondary pane, then buttons are moved to the bottom of the secondary pane. See Chapter 6, "Application Design Principles" for information about layout of action buttons in dialog boxes. 



If important controls must be placed in the secondary pane, the application can specify that the window in question should be displayed in its expanded state by default. Users should still be able to shrink the window by pressing the Contract button.