IE 7 menu bar


I’m using IE 7 for some time and lovin it.


I had believed that IE has done away with the menu. Whatever functionality I needed were available through the Tools and Page split buttons in the toolbar and I always printed using Ctrl+P so I never felt the need of the Menu. However, I just found out some time back from Amit that when you hit the alt button the menu magically appears and then magically disappears!!!


I have no idea what made the IE team come up with such a weird non-discoverable feature! Its so non-standard design. I understand the need of minimal UI and that WinForm enumerates the Alt key as System.Windows.Form.Keys.Menu but would’ve never figured out the association 🙂


Update: Windows Explorer also behaves the same way. I have been using Vista for the last 9 months, but couldn’t figure that out either. I’m actually feeling foolish for not being able to find out. Oh, hold on, doesn’t making users feel foolish make a UI qualify as a bad UI 🙂

Comments (7)

  1. Mike says:

    Well, ALT key have always been used to activate menus. For keyboard user it’s the same thing, you press ALT-F to open the file menu, or just press ALT and just use arrows keys to move through the menu. It’s only the mouse users that now need to press the ALT key to make the menu visibile but since most of the useful functionality is in the command bar… 🙂

  2. Hey I understand the need for alt for activation. I’m a heavy keyboard user myself, but when I don’t even see a menu why do I hit the alt key??

  3. Mike says:

    "but when I don’t even see a menu why do I hit the alt key??"

    Because of the habit ! 🙂

  4. Bjoern Graf says:

    Or the good, old alt+d to got to the address? Though, in Sevens beta the menu was shown on key down, not on key up, so this might not be that discoverable…

  5. Ştiaţi că dacă apăsaţi ALT apare/dispare meniul din IE7 ? Interesant. Via abhinaba .

  6. David Walker says:

    "File/Send/Link by E-mail" is not available without the menu.  For that reason alone, I did the Registry hack (or whatever the option was) that turns the menu back on.

    Also, I put the menu back at the top, where it belongs!  🙂