Items Collection Editor for MenuStrip in Java

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Items Collection Editor for MenuStrip
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Visual Basic 2005 Demysti ed
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Figure 11-7 menu item
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Properties window showing DropDownItems collection of the File
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The procedure for adding subsidiary menu items to a menu item is essentially the same as adding ToolStripMenuItems to the MenuStrip: You choose MenuItem from the drop-down box and then click the Add button You then may select the added subitem and in the right pane change its Name, Text, and other properties
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Enhancing the Menu Items
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You can enhance menu items in several ways You can add access or shortcut keys to facilitate keyboard access to menu items You also can add separator bars to group together related menu items
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CHAPTER 11 Menus
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Figure 11-8
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Items Collection Editor for the Edit menu item
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Access Keys
Although menu items usually are accessed by a mouse click, you also should enable the user to access menu items via the keyboard Being able to access menu items via the keyboard instead of a mouse is an important convenience, as I have discovered on an airplane flight trying to use my laptop while wedged between two sumo-sized passengers Indeed, for users with certain disabilities, the ability to access menu items via the keyboard instead of a mouse can be a necessity An access key is one way of enabling the user to access menu items via the keyboard An access key is the keyboard combination of the ALT key plus a letter in the menu item that is underlined For example, the keyboard combination for the File menu item is ALT-F, with the F in File being underlined To add an access key, in the menu item s Text property, simply type an ampersand (&) before the letter to be underlined Figure 11-4 earlier in this chapter shows the result of typing &File as the Text property for the File menu item (the F in File is underlined)
Visual Basic 2005 Demysti ed
The access shortcut may not appear when you run the application until you press the ALT key This is standard behavior in Windows applications As shown in Figure 11-9, in the Effects dialog (shown by choosing the Display applet from Control Panel | Appearance tab | Effects button), the Hide Underlined Letters for Keyboard Navigation Until I Press the Alt Key option is checked by default If you want to change that behavior, simply uncheck that box
Shortcut Keys
Shortcut keys are another method of enabling the user to access menu items via the keyboard In Microsoft Word, the New menu item under the File menu can be accessed with the shortcut key CTRL-N You can add a shortcut key at design time by selecting the menu item within the Menu Designer, selecting the ShortcutKeys property from the Properties window, and clicking the drop-down arrow As Figure 11-10 shows, you can choose one or more of CTRL, SHIFT, or ALT by checking a box and then choosing one of the values offered in the drop-down list N OTE You normally would not assign a shortcut key to a top-level menu item such as File or Edit because an access key already can be used to open that menu
Figure 11-9
Setting whether the access shortcut is hidden until the ALT key is pressed
CHAPTER 11 Menus
Figure 11-10 Shortcut key options displayed in the Properties window
Separator Bars
Separator bars are used to group related commands within a menu and make menus easier to read In Microsoft Word, under the File menu, a separator bar separates the New, Open, and Close menu items from the menu items that follow them You may add a separator bar by setting the Text property of a menu item to a dash Alternatively, in the Menu Designer, right-click the location where you want a separator bar and then choose Insert | Separator
Adding Functionality to the Menu Items
The purpose of a menu item is to do something when it is clicked Therefore, you use the Click event procedure of the menu item to provide functionality for a menu item
Visual Basic 2005 Demysti ed
The Click event, of course, occurs when the user clicks the menu item However, the Click event also occurs if the user selects the menu item using the keyboard and presses the ENTER key, or if the user presses an access key or shortcut key that is associated with the menu item The Click event is not raised for all menu items It only is raised for menu items that do not have subsidiary menu items The reason is when a menu item with subsidiary items is clicked, the behavior is to display the subsidiary menu items Therefore, the Click event is not raised for parent menu items such as File and Edit Instead, the behavior when a parent menu item is clicked is to display its subitems, such as, in the case of the File menu, New, Open, and Close You write code for the Click event procedure for a menu item by, in code view, choosing the menu item by name from the left drop-down list and Click from the right drop-down list You then write within the created event procedure stub the code you wish to run when the menu item is clicked For example, the following code outputs New to the Output window when a menu item named mnuFileNew is clicked:
Private Sub mnuFileNew_Click _ (ByVal sender As SystemObject, _ ByVal e As SystemEventArgs) Handles mnuFileNewClick DebugWriteLine("New") End Sub
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