This is a repost from:https://stackoverflow.com/questions/25520588/context-menus-in-table

I'm not quite sure if the audience is the same in here, but this seemed better place.

I've an UI design problem on html-tables. Each row should consists of some more actions and I really wouldn't like to add dropdown-menu on each row, since it adds clutter on my screen.

Right-button-actions are not really useful, since the right-menu actions should be added to all tables. All tables are not having these functions.

|1 | name1 | secondname1 |
|2 | name2 | secondname2 |
|3 | name3 | secondname3 |
|4 | name4 | secondname4 |

Example actions which will be performed for any of the rows:

  1. Accept
  2. Deny
  3. Show all details
  4. Remove

Any ideas are appreciated.

  • Does it have to work for touch screen devices? For example I was thinking you could you have a button area appear next to a row as you hover over a row, but that's a big no-no for touch screens. Aug 27, 2014 at 7:29
  • Touch screen are not prefered and I tought a bit same. But in case someday users would like to use touch screen devices, then anothether approuch should have been chosen. Aug 27, 2014 at 7:30
  • Why would adding a dropdown-menu clutter? All you need is an icon in each row that opens the menu. Uses minimal space and works on touchscreens.
    – J_rgen
    Aug 27, 2014 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


If you don't want anything to clutter your rows all the time with icons (like a drop down menu arrow, a hamburger menu, 3 vertical dots or similar) I think your option here is to show one of those icons when the row is clicked. You will at some point need to tell the user that the row has options, and that is really the standard way of doing that.

You can add this feature on hover but you should also use it when the row is selected to support touch screens.

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