Is this a good idea to hide the cursor, or maybe constrain its move to a vertical move, when the user has invoked a context menu? A context menu is basically unidimensional, so it makes sense to drop the horizontal component of the mouse location. I often see users struggle to reach a given submenu, because they dismiss the submenu they just activated if they hover an unrelated element of the initial menu.

  • 2
    No. It's too invasive. Never assume you know your user's needs and reasons for doing anything better than they do themselves. Commented May 3, 2012 at 9:27
  • @RogerAttrill: I dislike programs that constrain mouse motion when the button isn't pushed, but in cases where something within a scrollable window will be attached to the mouse pointer as long as the button is held, it would make sense to synchronize window scrolling with mouse movement (so an attempt to move the mouse 25 pixels past the window edge would scroll the window left 25 pixels and leave the mouse cursor at the edge). Such an approach would allow things like convenient rectangle-selection over several screens, unlike auto-scroll which is always too fast or too slow.
    – supercat
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 23:55

2 Answers 2


No, users rely on the ability to click outside the menu to cancel it, and to click on the parent menu to cancel opening a submenu. You always need to provide users a consistent and easy-to-recognize way to cancel an action.

Submenus are known to be difficult to use, which is why GUI guidelines discourage their use. For example, MS Windows 7 User Experience Interaction Guidelines (p233) states you should "Avoid using submenus unnecessarily... [and] don’t put frequently used menu items in a submenu."

Context menus should only have frequently needed commands for the selected object. Thus, you should very rarely need to use a submenu on a context menu given it would have infrequently needed commands.


No, most user's are familiar with drop down menus and more than likely experienced a faulty menu or two when browsing the internet.

Making a clear and functioning drop down menu is the best solution - don't restrict the user, make the users options clear.

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.