Firefox has the following interaction on the GNOME desktop (observed in Firefox ~55, GNOME ~3.26):

  • Starts with menu bar hidden
  • When you click Alt the menu bar appears [1] (and stays visible after the key is released)
  • When you press Alt again, the menu bar is hidden

Does this interaction have a name?

[1]: For example, when starting the Alt + F combo to open the "File" menu.

  • I'm on 56 and doesn't happen for me. It's just Alt or did you forget another key?
    – Devin
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 23:55
  • @Devin I'm on GNOME (GNU/Linux) so it might be specific to that platform, I've updated the question accordingly -- or it could be an option I enabled, I'll check and update if that's the case
    – lofidevops
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 0:39
  • This happens in Windows, too. Or it used to, and I loved it. Working on Macs, this is the thing I miss the most about Windows, as it provided a visual, immediate way to find shortcuts, that activated along the way, and was learnable, too.
    – Confused
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 8:16

1 Answer 1


I would call this a keyboard shortcut for progressive disclosure. Progressive disclosure is when you hide stuff that your user doesn't need for basic tasks. Think of Advanced Options in any application. There's a link or button (in this case the [alt] key) to open/reveal the disclosed options.

There's also staged disclosure which is commonly referred to as a Wizard. That's where the next options or tasks are disclosed in stages or in a queue.

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