Actions Menu

In the Actions menu, users see the full set of actions that they can run on an object. The most important or frequent actions are promoted at the top of the menu for faster access.


The Actions menu has several different forms.

As a context (right-click) menu, the Actions menu displays actions directly related to an object. As a drop-down menu in a toolbar, the Actions menu displays actions related to the selected objects in a datagrid. As a drop-down menu in the title bar, the Actions menu displays actions related to the object open in the main workspace.


Title Bar

  • Always Include an icon for the object type.
  • Use the wording "Actions - object name" when a single object is selected.

  • Use "Actions - number of objects" when multiple objects are selected. 

Menu Items

  • Use title-style capitalization.
  • Use these terms for actions on objects:
    • New--Creates an object. 
    • Add--Creates a relationship between two objects that already exist. 
    • Import--Brings information and objects into the vSphere Web Client.  "Export" is the correct opposite.
  • Use "Delete" for actions that permanently destroy an object, and "Remove" for actions that remove an object, but don't destroy it.
  • Favor verb phrases, for example "Move Hosts Into Cluster" and "Attach Host Profile."  Exception:  Don't clutter the menu with generic terms such as "View" and "Go to"  when navigating to a functional area in the UI. For example, use "Alarms" instead of "View Alarms" and "HDFS Status Web Page" instead of "Go to HDFS Status Web Page."
  • When multiple objects are selected, include only the actions that are common to all objects.  See Batch Operations for more information.
  • Include an ellipsis (...) for actions that open a dialog or wizard in which users input data. Don't use an ellipsis for actions that open a web page.


  • Group related menu items in a submenu when the main menu becomes too long to support all actions.
  • Use a submenu for progressive display of actions--let users reveal more advanced or less-frequently used actions as needed.

Promoted Actions

  • Include up to ten of the most frequently used actions in the promoted actions section of the menu.  Put additional actions in the All Actions submenu for your solution.
  • Never use a submenu in the promoted actions section.
  • Provide icons for the promoted actions.

All Solution Actions Submenu

  • Order the actions by usage and group by like actions. 
  • Add the most frequently used actions at the top of the submenu.
  • Put destructive actions, such as "Remove from Inventory," at the bottom.  Include a bar above the destructive actions to further separate them from the other actions.
  • If you repeat the promoted actions in the All Actions submenu, use different groupings. For example, order the actions as complimentary pairs, such as Connect and Disconnect.

Disabling Versus Removing a Menu Item

  • Disable the menu item if it can apply in a different context.  For example, if a virtual machine is powered on, include the "Power On" action, but disable it. 
  • Disable the menu item If the user doesn't have permissions for the action.
  • Remove the menu item if it can never apply.  For example, the actions "New Virtual Machine," "Deploy OVF Template," and "New Datastore" apply when a single host is selected, but not when multiple hosts are selected.
  • Never use a disabled state to advertise product features--if the user doesn't have a license for a feature, don't show it in the menu.
  • Remove the "All <solution> Actions" menu item if it has no actions.  (If it has actions, but none of them apply, enable the "All <solution> Actions" menu item, and disable all actions.)
  • When no actions are available for an object, include one item in the menu with the wording "No Actions Available."

Visual Specification

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