What is a Context Menu?

– Posted in: Lingo, Plugins

I was installing a plugin for one of my new clients today. TinyMCE Advanced is a plugin that I install for all my clients. I love this plugin! I’ve tried others, but this one is simple enough to use without instruction, yet complex enough to make you feel like you have some neat toys in your editor window. This plugin helps the user  to use their WordPress editors more efficiently and effectively. When I install it, I have to also configure the plugin’s backend to work in such a way that my client, no matter what their skill level is, can jump in and begin writing their first post without even thinking about how to do it.

Today, I was in my zone, checking all the boxes that applied when I got to thinking, does anyone know what these terms mean? Of course, most people don’t really care about the fundamentals of a plugin, as long as it works. Let’s just say, if a plugin is not configured right, you’ll get upset because, you don’t understand why something won’t perform the way you would expect.

I’m a Windows user (never could break the habit), so I can only explain based on what I know. Most of us are familiar with Microsoft® Word or Corel® WordPerfect. They’re what typewriters became when they evolved. In our small little word processing window, we’ve become accustomed to the tools they gave us to use. We’ve come to expect the same sort of layout when we jump into WordPress. But WordPress doesn’t offer enough word processing tools right out of the box. That’s where this plugin comes in handy.

Right-Click Contextual Menu

Right-click contextual menu

As I’m checking the boxes I want in this configuration, I realized there are some terms that most people don’t really understand. For instance, when you right-click on a word, phrase, or image, a pop up menu shows. You then choose your next step in your editing. But, do you know the name of that menu? If yours doesn’t show up when you want it to, or the wrong menu shows up, do you know what to look for in your configuration to turn it on? You can bet it’s not called, “Right-click menu thingy.”

If you are able to make the changes yourself, this is the “Context Menu.” Some other names this feature is known by are “contextual menu,” “shortcut,” or “pop-up menu.” Of course, context menu is not limited to your right-click menu. This particular plugin has its own context menu. It is much smaller than your browser’s and may be less cumbersome or distracting. It’s all what you prefer.

Here is what the configuration choices look like.

Context Menu

Configuration check boxes for TinyMCE Advanced plugin

I hope this helps bring understanding to some technical terms. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

1 comment… add one
Web Design July 10, 2014, 10:59 am

Funny, I’m in the business and I never knew the menu had a name. Learn something new everyday. Thanks

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