How to indicate window needs saving

mfstuart mfstuart at
Thu Mar 20 20:17:33 EDT 2008

Did a google search with "windows hig". Didn't find anything relevant.

But what I do in an edit-record type form, (built in another language for
Windows) is place the following 3 buttons at the bottom right of the form:
Save and Close, Save and New, Close
The first 2 buttons are disabled at opening of the form.

When the user starts editing values on the form (changing field values), I
then set a variable to TRUE.
If this variable is TRUE, then the first 2 buttons become enabled. The text
on the Close button is changed to Cancel.
First up, this is a visual sign to the user that they need to respond to the
system, because they changed values. (a somewhat push/pull affect)
If they press Escape of click Cancel on the edit form, they are prompted in
a dialog box to: save the changes by clicking Yes, exit without saving
changes by clicking No, or they can click Cancel on the dialog box which
returns them to the edit-record form. This last option allows the user to
continue editing the record detail. Choosing No, loses all changes and
closes the form.

Mark stuart

Richard Gaskin wrote:
> Mark Wieder wrote:
>>> The Mac allows visual feedback to the user that a window needs to be 
>>> saved by changing the red (left most) icon with a dark dot in it. I 
>>> don't 
>>> know if Windows or Linux do the same thing.
>>> How do I give this indication to the user? Is there a property in Rev 
>>> to 
>>> do this?
>> I've been known to change a field border color to red as an indicator...
> In the olden days some Mac apps used an asterisk after the window's 
> title to indicate unsaved changes.  I've been doing the same here, and 
> have had no complaints (though I sure wouldn't mind a fully HIG-savvy 
> way to do this).
> BTW: What does the Win HIG recommend for indicating unsaved changes?
> -- 
>   Richard Gaskin
>   Managing Editor, revJournal
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