Menu Class

Represents the base functionality for all menus. Although ToolStripDropDown and ToolStripDropDownMenu replace and add functionality to the Menu control of previous versions, Menu is retained for both backward compatibility and future use if you choose.

Namespace:  System.Windows.Forms
Assembly:  System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

public abstract class Menu : Component

This class is the base class for the MainMenu, MenuItem, and ContextMenu classes. You cannot create an instance of this class. The menus for an application consist of MenuItem objects. These can contain other MenuItem objects, representing submenu items. The MenuItem objects can be stored in a MainMenu for display as an entire menu structure for a form or a ContextMenu that is used to display shortcut menus. This class provides functionality that is common for all the menu classes.

Unlike many base classes, the Menu class uses its derived classes to define many of its properties. If you are using your menu in a multiple-document interface (MDI) application, you can use the MdiListItem property to specify a MenuItem that displays a list of open MDI child forms in your application. The MenuItems property contains a list of MenuItem objects stored in the menu class. For a MainMenu or ContextMenu, this property contains all the MenuItem objects that are displayed. For a MenuItem, the MenuItems property represents the submenu items associated with it.

In addition to the properties that are provided for all the derived menu classes, the Menu class also provides methods, such as CloneMenu and MergeMenu, that enable you to create new menus from existing menus, and also merge two menu structures together.

The Menu class also defines the nested class Menu.MenuItemCollection. This class defines the collection of MenuItem objects used by the MenuItems property. You can use the methods of the Menu.MenuItemCollection class to add and remove menu items from a MainMenu, ContextMenu, or MenuItem.

The following code example uses the derived class, MenuItem, to create a menu structure for a form. The example code adds a MenuItem to represent the top-level menu item, adds a submenu item to it for selecting a font size, and then adds two submenu items to that menu item that represent large and small font choices in an application. The example requires that there is a MainMenu object named mainMenu1 and four MenuItem objects named menuItem1, menuItem2, menuItem3, and menuItem4.

public void CreateMyMenu()
    // Set the caption for the top-level menu item.
    menuItem1.Text = "Edit";
    // Set the caption for the first submenu.
    menuItem2.Text = "Font Size";
    // Set the caption for menuItem2's first submenu.
    menuItem3.Text = "Small";
    // Set the checked property to true since this is the default value.
    menuItem3.Checked = true;
    // Define a shortcut key combination for the menu item.
    menuItem3.Shortcut = Shortcut.CtrlS;
    // Set the caption of the second sub menu item of menuItem2.
    menuItem4.Text = "Large";
    // Define a shortcut key combination for the menu item.
    menuItem4.Shortcut = Shortcut.CtrlL;
    // Set the index of the menu item so it is placed below the first submenu item.
    menuItem4.Index = 1;
    // Add menuItem3 and menuItem4 to menuItem2's list of menu items.
    // Add menuItem2 to menuItem1's list of menu items.
    // Add menuItem1 to the MainMenu for displaying.

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0