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Super Context Menu Strip

, 5 Oct 2009
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How to build a context menu that displays any group of controls
Picture1_small.JPG
Figure 1: You can put any group of controls on the pop-up context menu.

Introduction

Long time ago, I wondered how Microsoft Access put an Edit control on the context menu!!! Then I got another idea… why we do not use any control(s) on the context menu??? This will make the user interface easier to use and learn and even faster. The good news here is that, you can make it the same way you design a user control or a form using the Visual Studio designer.

Background

At first, I thought we could customize the Menu. Then I discovered that this is very hard and maybe impossible. I tried to make use of the Form, but this is not the right choice because when we show it, the parent form loses its focus. A context menu shouldn't cause that. Luckily, I found a very good article "Simple Pop-up Control" by Lukasz Swiatkowski. This article shows how to display a pop up control using the ToolStripDropDown class. Then I said, "I found it." I used that idea to make my idea: a context menu that contains any group of controls. And now, I have a new and easier implementation.

How It Works

SuperContextMenuStrip is based on ContextMenuStrip which adds a user control to a ToolStripControlHost then adds the host as an item to the menu.

Using the Code

  1. Add a user control to your project and put any group of controls in it, the way you like, but make them public so that you can add event handlers to them.
  2. Override ProcessDialogKey in your user control and make sure it is as shown in the sample code.
  3. Please have a look at the main from source code, you will find it so easy to use it.

Known Bugs

I still have these bugs but I am working on them. If you have any idea how to solve these bugs, please help me.

  1. If the pop-up menu is shown and the user clicks a MenuStrip, a ToolStrip or an item on them, it does not hide. It needs two clicks to hide!!!
  2. The System.Windows.Forms.ComboBox class behaves in a strange way. It closes the container when the user clicks on the part of the combo box's dropdown list that sticks out of the container area. So, make sure that the dropdown list is totally inside the area.

Suggested Add-on Features and Ideas

  • Add a small x button to close it
  • Easily move it
  • Allow resizing
    (But I don't recommend these changes, because they violate the concept of a menu; but you may find it a good idea.)
  • You can use it to implement custom tool tip, intellisense menus like Visual Studio.

History

  • October 2009
    • Completely changed the structure (AGAIN) to make it easier to use
  • June 2008
    • Completely changed the structure to make it easier to use
    • Solved the tab bug
  • December 2007
    • First release

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Hany Badrous
Engineer
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralNice work - but you can see the control in the taskbar PinmemberForceDragonX25-Mar-08 13:10 
GeneralRe: Nice work - but you can see the control in the taskbar PinmemberHany Badrous25-Mar-08 19:27 
no your english is good Smile | :)
and thank you for your complement.... i hope you vote for the article with 5 (please) Smile | :)
 
i work on windows vista and i tested the control...and did NOT find any icon on the task bar(except the program icon)!!! D'Oh! | :doh:
please, tell me which OS you use (vista or XP....)if possible send me a picture to my email
hany_badrous@yahoo.com
thank you
 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Hany Badrous
Love programming like playing music

GeneralRe: Nice work - but you can see the control in the taskbar [modified] PinmemberForceDragonX26-Mar-08 4:07 
GeneralRe: Nice work - but you can see the control in the taskbar PinmemberHany Badrous26-Mar-08 18:41 
GeneralRe: Nice work - but you can see the control in the taskbar [modified] PinmemberForceDragonX27-Mar-08 2:02 

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