What Does Sub-Menu Mean?

A sub-menu is a derivative menu that is reliant on a top-level menu in a graphical user interface system. Common software environments such as Microsoft Windows have more or less trained users to be able to recognize controls for accessing sub-menus, which are often invisible from a start screen.


Techopedia Explains Sub-Menu

The use of a sub-menu involves a strategy of nesting one menu inside another. For instance, under a main menu titled "tools" or "options," there may be a sub-menu with a title like "format" or "insert," which has its own list of options as well.

One of the most common examples of sub-menus is in Microsoft Windows, where many of these sub-menus are accessed by clicking on a top-level menu with the mouse, dragging the mouse down to a sub-menu row and moving the mouse, usually to the right, toward what is called a sub-menu arrow. As the mouse moves off of the main menu, in the vicinity of the sub-menu arrow, the sub-menu appears. Although this has been largely an effective interface for users, some have problems controlling the mouse in a way that opens the sub-menu, because of the relatively small window for error. Developers also have to code these operations carefully, sometimes with visually mapped sub-menu access routines, in order to prevent bugs or errors.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…