What is a context menu?

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What is a context menu?
What is a context menu?

The concept of a context menu is encountered by absolutely all computer users, regardless of the type of operating system used or its developer. Such an element is available in all currently known operating systems. But let's see what the Windows context menu is, what types it is and how to deal with it. We take Windows as a basis only for the simple reason that most users in the post-Soviet space work with just these operating systems. And first, a few words about the term itself.

What is a context menu in general terms?

Actually, the name of the menu itself comes from the English context. As for a simplified understanding, the context menu of Windows 10 or any other operating system can be interpreted as some additional element of the system's graphical interface, in which there are certain commands for quick access to some basic or additional functions.

Additional context menus
Additional context menus

So to say, in the context of selecting an object for which an additional menu is used, different commands will be available (this will be discussed separately).

Menu types

Actually, the operating system itself has several types of main and additional menus. For example, the main menu is accessed by pressing the "Start" button. Installed programs usually have their own element in the form of a top panel, which displays sections of basic operations, etc. Naturally, all such menus differ from each other both in appearance and in purpose. But it is the context menu that is universal in its own way and in a sense even connects applications to the operating system without the use of additional tools. Forgot how to perform some action? It's OK! This menu will tell you what to do and how, especially since many menus of this type can open additional lists.

Context menu items

As already mentioned, for different objects the content of the menu can differ quite a lot. It all depends on the type of the selected object and the actions that are supposed to be performed. Everyone knows that in the "Explorer" through such a menu, when a file or folder is selected, you can set copying, moving, deleting, opening and performing a lot of other operations, except for the use of hot keys or their combinations.

Desktop shortcut menu
Desktop shortcut menu

On the "Desktop" when you click on an empty area of the screen, you can quickly call up the screen settings or create shortcuts. But to perform such actions, following the standard methodology, it will take much more time. In general, as it is considered, the context menu is a unique invention. Despite the fact that almost allthe items contained in it are duplicated both by the operating system itself and by some installed programs; its use often reduces the time of access to certain actions and functions.

Differences between menus for different objects

Now let's consider the most important question, concerning how menus of this type differ when a certain object is selected. It goes without saying that it will not be possible to describe all types, so we will focus on the most basic ones.

Files and folders have been sorted out a bit. You can add that antiviruses, archivers and some other programs embed their own commands in such menus, so in addition to a set of standard actions, you can use their additional features.

Section context menu
Section context menu

If you use the menu for a disk or partition, you can already access the system tools here. Programs have their own elements of this type, however, the context menu for almost all active applications, if the upper left corner of the program window on the header is used as the selected object, the items are the same: closing, moving, minimizing and maximizing the active window, resizing, etc. It is clear that the content of each context menu for applications depends on the specifics of using the program. So, in web browsers, among the items, there are commands related specifically to actions with tabs or settings.

Taskbar context menu
Taskbar context menu

When using the menu for panels, it becomes possible to configure them,moving to additional options, adding or deleting elements, etc. As already mentioned, it is physically impossible to describe the content of all types of opened menus, so let's move on.

How to open an additional menu: a few basic ways

Now a few words about how to call or open the context menu. Everyone knows that in Windows, RMB is used for this (click on the right mouse button). This action is set in the default settings, although some use button reassignment, after which this control is invoked by the left button. In general, the context menu of the mouse, depending on the type of manipulator used, can be configured as you like. For example, for the same gaming mice, which have a lot of additional buttons, the accompanying software is usually installed, which allows you to control all their parameters and configure the buttons for a specific action, including calling additional menus.

Few people know that in Windows you can use not only RMB. For example, for laptops, it is very important to use the Shift + F10 combination. Also for this is the right button on the touchpad. On some non-standard keyboards for stationary computer terminals, you can find a special Menu key, which is usually located to the right of the Win button.

How to add additional items to the menu?

Finally, let's see how to add additional items or commands to the context menu. You can, of course, use Windows tools, but forthis will have to dig into the registry, and this is very inconvenient.

Context menu customization
Context menu customization

The easiest way is to use the small program Context Menu Tuner, the interface of which consists of only two panels with command sets and areas of Windows Explorer.

Context Menu Tuner
Context Menu Tuner

There are only two buttons to add or remove items, so you shouldn't have any difficulties using them.

Practical benefits of using

As for the pluses, a lot has already been said about them. This applies not only to the fact that the correctness of calling some actions can simply be forgotten. The versatility of such menus consists precisely in accelerating access to some standard and non-standard functions or actions, which would normally take much longer to call in the usual way. And so - RMB and all the necessary commands at hand!

Instead of total

I would like to hope that after reading the above material, many have figured out what this element of the operating system is. As for its use, there should be no questions at all, since in some situations you simply cannot do without it. And practice shows that one hundred percent of users out of a hundred always use the context menu, regardless of the actions performed.

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