I need to give an option to show or hide certain detail. What's a good pair of icons for "show/hide"?

Sorry, let me clarify. I am going to use it in a MS Office Ribbon style navbar at the top. The text will be "Show All Tasks" or "Hide Unused Tasks" (it's a project management type application). So I would like an icon to go with the text. Also, because it's in the ribbon, it's not right next to the item it will hide or show.


How about these two:

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  • Glad I could help :). The original icon is from here. Mar 21 '11 at 20:49
  • 3
    Because of “not right next to the item it will hide or show” there’s a classic problem: what do this icons show — a state or an action? A top one, for example, does it mean that one already sees all the details or does it mean that one should press it to see all the details? Mar 25 '11 at 10:02

You can use “...” instead of icon, or just go with the labels (Show/Hide), they are of good size (not too small to click and not too big to make a much noise) and are very easy to understand.

Another option is to use arrows (▶/▼), or +/-, like in Windows file system trees.


I like an Open and Close Eye... but I guess you can use the Windows paradigm that is the most comon in people mind.

  • What is the Windows paradigm?
    – richard
    Mar 17 '11 at 16:45
  • The Undersscore and the litle boxes, like in the top right corner of your normal windows window. Mar 17 '11 at 17:45

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