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What is the official name for this button/icon:

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It's found in many places throughout Blender:

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I can't find it anywhere in the manual.

If you know, can you please cite the source for your information (i.e. a page from the Blender Manual) because I'd like to read about it.


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Andrew Price called it "Dot Symbol" button:

I would call the particular ones you show "Node Material Properties Dropdown Buttons" to be honest. I'm not sure why a differnet icon is used here, using a symbol not "universaly understood" like Andrew said.

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I understood the icon to mean "click this to connect a new node here" (specifically a node), as the dot reminds me of node sockets. – gandalf3 Jul 6 '14 at 20:47

Not sure if it documented anywhere in the manual but it looks like it is using icon ID of LAYER_USED. That is the same icon shown in the 3dview header to show that something is on that layer.

A popup menu normally has two arrows but the cycles materials where this is shown are used for node links and line 1380 of interface_widgets.c supports that theory. What the if statement surrounding that line says is if it is drawing a menu and it is flagged as a node link it draws the layer used icon which elsewhere would also prevent the two little arrows being drawn, that matches with the cycles material display.

Other places LAYER_USED can be found is in the addons - Layer Manager, Node Wrangler and PowerLib.

It would appear that the use you have shown is unique to the cycles material display as part of a popup menu and is hard coded that way. From an addon usage we don't get direct access to show it as part of a popup menu, I haven't tried but you may be able to flag the menu as a node link to make it work.

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