Copyright 2004 by M. Uli Kusterer Fri, 29 Nov -1901 11:06:32 GMT Comments on article blog-icons-on-menus at blog-icons-on-menus Comments witness_dot_of_dot_teachtext_at_gmx_dot_net (M. Uli Kusterer) witness_dot_of_dot_teachtext_at_gmx_dot_net (M. Uli Kusterer) en-us Comment 1 by Chris Gervais I'm not sure I like icons on menu entries -- primarily for aesthetic reasons. The way I see it, an icon's role in life to fulfill the promise that a picture is worth a thousand words. We use icons in toolbars to quickly expose important or commonly used actions also represented by menu items. If that's the case, what's the point of placing the icon next to that item in the menu item? To reinforce its connection? Isn't that what a tooltip on the toolbar icon is for? Not to mention the descriptive text available when a user configures their toolbar (I'm thinking specifically of the "Configure Toolbar..." option for NSToolbars).

The other issue that you mention is the practicality of generating icons for the many actions that present in menus. The other big issue is the potential for dissonance across applications. I would be a real shame if users had to make the connection between different images, in different applications for the same action. In my own little applications I try to reuse Apple's toolbar images wherever possible since I know I'll be consistent with the core system.