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Display any usercontrol as a popup menu

, 1 May 2005
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This article introduces a little class which lets you show any usercontrol in XP style popup menu.

Introduction

I found it frustrating that the .NET framework does not provide custom menus. I realized that you can owner-draw menus, but sometimes you just want to do more. I started with this little class which at the beginning was used for displaying a usercontrol in a floating window. Now, I have added several improvements to it.

  1. I wanted my popup to appear at the top of a button (like the Start menu in Windows). But only if there is enough place.
  2. The menu shows shadows (see the picture).
  3. The menu appears with a quick and graphically pleasing animation.

On the contrary of what I could find on the internet, this class lets you show any type of control. There is no need to derive from any special class. Also the popup will appear where you want it, on the screen. I used a button but you can use an image or anything that you like.

Using the code

To try the class, just run the Test project provided. I have tried to keep this class simple to use. To use it in your own project, you just need two lines of code. First add the popup.vb file to your project.

If you want to display usercontrol1 when button1 is clicked, you just need these two lines of code:

Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, 
   ByVal e As System.EventArgs) 
      _ Handles Button1.Click
 popup = New Popup(New UserControl1, Button1)
 popup.Show()
End Sub

By default, the popup will appear animated with a shadow and a dark grey border.

You can change these settings if you want to. Note that the shadow part of this code was derived from a C# article called Add a drop shadow to a form by David M. Kean. This feature (and this feature only) will work only on Windows XP.

The popup will disappear automatically when its window is deactivated. The window is deactivated as soon as you click outside the popup. The component also offers two events DropDown and DropDownClosed. You can use this class to initialize or save your usercontrol values.

Private Sub PopupDown(ByVal Sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs) _
          Handles popup.DropDown
 Me.Text = "Popup is open"
 End Sub

 Private Sub PopupClosed(ByVal Sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs) _
          Handles popup.DropDownClosed
 Me.Text = "Popup is closed"
 End Sub

Points of interest

No rocket science, just a lightweight small class.

The positioning of the popup is more complicated than I expected, so you don't have to think about it.

History

  • 6 Feb. 2005 - First version released.
    • The Resizable option does not resize very smoothly. The rest seems to work well.
  • 12 Feb. 2005
    • The popup does not appear in the task bar anymore (thank you steve).
    • The usercontrol can now prevent the popup from closing if it wants.

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Pascal Ganaye
Software Developer (Senior)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I am a French programmer.
These days I spend most of my time with the .NET framework, JavaScript and html.

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionPopup Position Pinmembermsov28-Mar-12 6:18 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberAsif Imam13-Feb-12 23:10 
GeneralOnDeactivate kills the events in UserControl PinmemberMatt-HH3-Nov-10 14:14 
GeneralRe: OnDeactivate kills the events in UserControl PinmemberMatt-HH4-Nov-10 7:36 
GeneralDateTimePicker selection bug PinmemberJiong Mai21-Jan-09 8:01 
GeneralThank you, Pascal! PinmemberBig Dog23-Apr-08 14:30 
QuestionModal Dialog PinmemberE! Ray K13-Mar-08 6:30 
QuestionShow from UserControl??? PinmemberLelo LXXIV15-Nov-07 23:08 
QuestionC # version of this control PinmemberRei Masi13-Nov-07 11:09 
AnswerRe: C # version of this control PinmemberBig Dog23-Apr-08 14:33 
GeneralA little Problem Pinmemberkapil bhavsar4-Apr-07 4:06 
GeneralRe: A little Problem Pinmembernzin12-Aug-07 21:29 
NewsLicensing PinmemberPascal Ganaye5-Mar-07 3:30 
GeneralRe: Licensing Pinmemberblumenhause25-May-07 19:54 
GeneralTextbox search popup PinmemberE! Ray K23-Jan-07 11:03 
GeneralRe: Textbox search popup PinmemberPascal Ganaye5-Mar-07 3:25 
GeneralRe: Textbox search popup Pinmemberconnectpalm3-Apr-07 2:50 
GeneralReally great, but... :) PinmemberKStankov14-Dec-06 19:49 
GeneralGreat control! Pinmemberblumenhause28-Oct-06 8:12 
GeneralUsing Your Source PinmemberBernard C20-Sep-06 1:15 
GeneralBlack Flickering Pinmembercodedieb23-May-06 12:25 
GeneralRe: Black Flickering PinmemberPascal Ganaye5-Jun-06 8:16 
GeneralVery nice control Pinmemberjasonpb31-Jan-06 15:56 
GeneralClose on UserControl Button Click PinmemberMartAlex20-May-05 10:26 
GeneralRe: Close on UserControl Button Click [modified] Pinmembercodedieb23-May-06 5:12 
GeneralAbout the Interface IPopupUserControl Pinmemberdyh222218-May-05 4:22 
GeneralDrawGrip PinmemberLaurent Muller10-May-05 21:05 
GeneralRe: DrawGrip Pinmemberpascal ganaye24-May-05 11:35 
GeneralParent form looses focus Pinmember2scoops.net4-May-05 6:35 
GeneralRe: Parent form looses focus Pinmemberpascal ganaye4-May-05 10:21 
GeneralRe: Parent form looses focus Pinmemberaxelriet26-Jun-05 2:33 
GeneralRe: Parent form looses focus Pinmemberdbassett7420-Feb-09 6:41 
GeneralClosing on click is a problem. PinmemberRüdiger Klaehn2-May-05 1:34 
GeneralRe: Closing on click is a problem. PinmemberThomas Freudenberg2-May-05 2:30 
GeneralRe: Closing on click is a problem. PinmemberDean_DOT2-May-05 7:44 
GeneralRe: Closing on click is a problem. Pinmemberpascal ganaye2-May-05 10:16 
GeneralRe: Closing on click is a problem. PinmemberRogier13-May-05 2:38 
GeneralRe: Closing on click is a problem. Pinmemberpascal ganaye13-May-05 8:44 
GeneralRe: Closing on click is a problem. PinsussAnonymous14-May-05 3:18 
GeneralRe: Closing on click is a problem. Pinmemberpascal ganaye14-May-05 7:05 
GeneralClosing the PopMenu PinmemberBricoleu13-Apr-05 12:25 
GeneralJust what I was looking for... PinmemberSimmy_NJ14-Feb-05 4:59 
GeneralRe: Just what I was looking for... Pinmemberpascal ganaye14-Feb-05 8:57 
GeneralRe: Just what I was looking for... PinmemberSimmy_NJ14-Feb-05 13:00 
GeneralA suggestion for Popup PinmemberStumpy84211-Feb-05 14:13 
GeneralRe: A suggestion for Popup Pinmemberpascal ganaye12-Feb-05 1:22 

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