Google Forms uses a nice context control that looks like a toolbar, but floats towards the selected element (question):

floating toolbar

It behaves similarly to a context menu (activated when clicking on a certain item), but looks like a vertical toolbar that floats towards the selected item.

Is there a name for such a control / UX pattern? I am interested in finding it implemented in a UI library, but I did not have any success with searches such as "floating toolbar" or similar.

2 Answers 2


If you use the Material Design documentation as a reference, I think a navigation rail or a floating action button group would be closest to what you are looking for, but there are always new interpretations and adaptations to the core components described.

Therefore, you will find that often Material Design requires some interpretation and adaptation depending on what your exact use case is. You also have to consider what other UI components you are currently using and whether it is compatible or not with adopting this component.

  • 1
    Indeed. "Floating navigation rail" could be it.
    – xul
    Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 23:14

I checked in the Google Forms code but it's not really helping ha ha :D

Some research

I would go for a mix between utilities and the way it displays. It seems to be an "Editor Toolbar" that floats and which is sticky to a certain position.

I tried to search about "Sticky Floating Tool Bar Editor" but got a lot of noise in the result. Adding "Google Form" at the end of the search made me found the name "Floating Toolbar" which is short and understandable; and apparently, you would naturally go for this kind of naming.

My thoughts about naming

In terms of what you need here, go for a custom name, because in the Google usage, it's a really specific one. I'm not sure you'll find a standard name for this kind of component. In the Google Form code, I read "Freebird Form Editor". I kind of like it, and I'm sure you can found one for your UI Library.

The thing you need to keep in mind while building a Library, is that this name you choose must be understandable by all the "consumers" of this library. (Designers, Developers, Stakeholders) So… ask them? 😊

Not sure if it helps much. If I find a better idea, I'll come back here.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.