I noticed on a recent Google Chrome update that the setting/option icon changed from the wrench to three dots, which I thought was interesting as this seemed to related to the 'more' symbol but turned into a vertical version or an abbreviated form of the hamburger menu where the three stripes are shortened to three dots.

Are there any examples where such an icon has been used for a similar purpose, or have the people at Google simply come up with something that they think the users will understand?

1 Answer 1


As a matter of fact I'm quite sure that between the wrench and the kebab icon there was a hamburger.

Either way, the most likely reason for the icon is consistency . This kebab menu icon is the same they're using in Material Design, so they're basically following their own guidelines, see Menus section in MD

A menu is a temporary piece of material that appears upon interaction with a button, action, pointer, or other control. It contains at least two menu items.

Each menu item consists of a discrete option or action that can affect the app, the view, or selected elements within a view. Menus should not be used as a primary method for navigation within an app.

On the other side, an because of consistency, they can't use a hamburger icon, because they reserve this icon for navigation drawers.

In short: according to Google's own guidelines, hamburger icons are for navigational purposes, while kebab icons are related to actions. See image below to see both icons in context

enter image description here

  • I recall the hamburger as well. Oct 2, 2016 at 23:31
  • +1 I like the term kebab, did you come up with that? :)
    – Michael Lai
    Oct 3, 2016 at 7:29
  • 2
    @MichaelLai LukeW came up with this term in a twitter post last year - twitter.com/lukew?lang=en-gb
    – SteveD
    Oct 3, 2016 at 10:23
  • @MichaelLai, like SteveD says :) That's why the kebab word was linked to LukeW original tweet
    – Devin
    Oct 3, 2016 at 15:34

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