What would be the right icon for a toolbar button that triggers the following functionality in a spreadsheet application?

  • Toggle the visibility of all columns of the current sheet that currently don't contain any data (i.e. that are completely empty except for their column header).

Background: The user might have a row filter active that greatly reduces the number of rows shown. Usually, the filtered sheet view consists of just 30 or so rows (with the original data set containing hundreds of rows).

Often, the user filters in a way that the visible rows share the same empty columns. So after filtering, he might end up with a huge (50 columns+) sheet displaying 30 rows with most of the columns being completely empty.


1 Answer 1


You might consider the icon for a resembling function used by Oracle: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E37097_01/doc/doc.42/e35125/img/ir_col_head_menu.gif (the third icon in the drop-down on the screenshot).

  • Looks more like a delete operation :\ May 21, 2014 at 15:03
  • Replacing the cross with a (non-red) plus/minus might be a possible way to go then; it will also be consistent with the toggle idea (i.e. when the columns have already been hidden the minus turns into a plus). May 21, 2014 at 15:20

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.