ARCHIVED: In graphical user interfaces, what are handles?

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The term "handle" usually refers to the small black boxes that appear around or on an object, which you can use to size or move the object.

Examples of objects that have handles include drawing elements in Canvas, Excel, or Word; text and graphics boxes in Word; and axes and labels on Excel charts. In most cases, there will be eight handles: one for each of the four corners and for the four edges.

The windows in Microsoft Windows are also objects with handles, but the handles do not appear as small black boxes. Rather, the entire length of the edges, and all four corners, can be used to size the window. A thin border appears all around each window for this purpose.

In Mac OS X, the handle to resize a window is the square in its lower right corner.

In general, when an object is selected with a mouse, the handles appear. When some other object is selected, the handles will appear on the selected object and disappear from the previously selected object.

Dragging one of the handles will change the shape and/or size of the object. In some applications, dragging a corner handle will preserve the object's aspect ratio, while dragging an edge handle will change it.

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Last modified on 2018-01-18 10:27:52.