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Request: Don't use ellipses in menus

Advocate ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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Background

 

Ellipses (…) after a menu option have been traditionally employed in GUIs to indicate to a user that if they select that option, further action will be required by the user for that operation to be performed. The ellipsis acts a visual cue to the user that more information will be required. In essence, the rationale behind it is to give the user confidence to explore the user interface safe in the knowledge that any menu option with an ellipsis can be cancelled without the image being affected. A simple, but clear, example is the difference between Save and Save As... in Photoshop.

 

In addition to not using ellipses for menu options that simply perform a command without any additional input, over time there has been a move towards eliminating the use of ellipses for menu options that purely open a new window or panel for informational purposes. For example, in macOS there is no ellipsis after the About This Mac menu option in the Apple menu.

 

Adobe's Spectrum Design System takes the use of ellipses one step further by eliminating them almost completely from the UI text, bar a few specific situations or if the app is using a native (OS-level) pattern:

 

https://spectrum.adobe.com/page/grammar-and-mechanics/#Ellipsis 

 

Note: Spectrum does however use the ellipsis for a completely different purpose – as the More menu icon for when there are more options.

 

Of the other two main web-based Adobe CC apps I've looked at, Lightroom uses ellipses in only 2 or 3 situations, and Adobe Express uses none at all.

 

Screen estate is not unlimited, especially when an app runs inside a web browser. By eliminating unnecessary ellipses, this should reduce the amount of screen clutter and give developers a little more space for menu text and things like keyboard shortcuts.

 

Current status and suggestions

 

Photoshop on the web (Beta) currently uses ellipses in a very similar manner to Photoshop on the desktop, i.e. there are quite a few of them 😀

 

Some are redundant; in other words, the menu option doesn't require any additional input from the user – Photoshop simply performs the operation:

 

  • Save…
  • Layer > New > Layer…
  • Layer > New > Group…
  • Layer > Duplicate Layer…
  • Document info… (from the Version history caret menu next to the Filename in the Header Bar)

 

The Settings… menu option doesn't really need an ellipsis either. Most of the App Settings panel is devoted to solely displaying information, while the General section doesn't even have a Cancel button.

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correct answers 1 Pinned Reply

Adobe Employee , Jun 07, 2023 Jun 07, 2023

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2 Comments
Adobe Employee ,
Jul 11, 2022 Jul 11, 2022

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Thanks you @Phil Pickering for your ongoing suggestions and help. The team is truly thankful for customers like you who take the time to dig in deep.  We have passed this and all your thoughts and look forward to your continued support.

 

Cheers,

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 07, 2023 Jun 07, 2023

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