The Windows Forms library provides three components for creating and managing menus:

  • The MainMenu class manages the display of a menu across the top of a form.

  • The ContextMenu class manages the display of a context menu (also known as a pop-up menu).

  • The MenuItem class represents a specific menu item within a main menu or context menu.

Menus can be created either in the Visual Studio .NET Windows Forms Designer or programmatically.

Adding Menus in the Visual Studio .NET Windows Forms Designer

Visual Studio .NET includes an in-place WYSIWYG menu editor that is a dramatic improvement over the menu editor in Visual Basic 6. To create an application menu in the Windows Forms Designer, add a MainMenu component to the form. This causes a representation of the component to appear in the lower pane of the form’s design view. When the component is selected, Visual Studio .NET adds a WYSIWYG editor to the top of the form, as shown in Figure 5-22.

In-place editing of a main menu

Figure 5-22. In-place editing of a main menu

To create a menu item, type a value into the “Type Here” box. The menu editor automatically adds “Type Here” boxes to the right and beneath the box in which you are typing. As was the case in previous Windows development environments, typing an ampersand (&) within the menu name causes the character following the ampersand to be an accelerator key. Typing a single hyphen (-) within a “Type Here” ...

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