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3.18. Menus

In Swing, menu bars, menu panes, and menu items are components, just like all other Swing components. JMenuBar is a container designed to hold JMenu objects. JMenu is a container designed to hold JMenuItem objects and other JMenu objects (as submenus). Working with menus is not exactly the same as working with other types of components, however, and Example 3-1 shows a simple example of creating pull-down and pop-up menus.

Example 3-1. Creating Pull-Down and Pop-Up Menus in Swing

import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;

public class MenuDemo {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    // Create a window for this demo
    JFrame frame = new JFrame("Menu Demo");
    JPanel panel = new JPanel();
    frame.getContentPane().add(panel, "Center");

    // Create an action listener for the menu items we will create
    // The MenuItemActionListener class is defined below
    ActionListener listener = new MenuItemActionListener(panel);

    // Create some menu panes, and fill them with menu items
    // The menuItem() method is important.  It is defined below.
    JMenu file = new JMenu("File");
    file.add(menuItem("New", listener, "new", 'N', KeyEvent.VK_N));
    file.add(menuItem("Open...", listener, "open", 'O', KeyEvent.VK_O));
    file.add(menuItem("Save", listener, "save", 'S', KeyEvent.VK_S));
    file.add(menuItem("Save As...", listener, "saveas", 'A', KeyEvent.VK_A));

    JMenu edit = new JMenu("Edit");
    edit.add(menuItem("Cut", listener, "cut", 0, KeyEvent.VK_X));
    edit.add(menuItem("Copy", listener, "copy", 'C', KeyEvent.VK_C));
    edit.add(menuItem("Paste", listener, "paste", 0, KeyEvent.VK_V));

    // Create a menu bar and add these panes to it.
    JMenuBar menubar = new JMenuBar();

    // Add menu bar to the main window.  Note special method to add menu bars.

    // Now create a popup menu and add the some stuff to it
    final JPopupMenu popup = new JPopupMenu();
    popup.add(menuItem("Open...", listener, "open", 0, 0));
    popup.addSeparator();                // Add a separator between items
    JMenu colors = new JMenu("Colors");  // Create a submenu
    popup.add(colors);                   // and add it to the popup menu
    // Now fill the submenu with mutually exclusive radio buttons
    ButtonGroup colorgroup = new ButtonGroup();
    colors.add(radioItem("Red", listener, "color(red)", colorgroup));
    colors.add(radioItem("Green", listener, "color(green)", colorgroup));
    colors.add(radioItem("Blue", listener, "color(blue)", colorgroup));

    // Arrange to display the popup menu when the user clicks in the window
    panel.addMouseListener(new MouseAdapter() {
      public void mousePressed(MouseEvent e) {
	// Check whether this is the right type of event to pop up a popup
	// menu on this platform.  Usually checks for right button down.
	if (e.isPopupTrigger()) 
	  popup.show((Component)e.getSource(), e.getX(), e.getY());

    // Finally, make our main window appear
    frame.setSize(450, 300);

  // A convenience method for creating menu items
  public static JMenuItem menuItem(String label, 
				   ActionListener listener, String command, 
				   int mnemonic, int acceleratorKey) {
    JMenuItem item = new JMenuItem(label);
    if (mnemonic != 0) item.setMnemonic((char) mnemonic);
    if (acceleratorKey != 0) 
    return item;

  // A convenience method for creating radio button menu items
  public static JMenuItem radioItem(String label, ActionListener listener, 
				    String command, ButtonGroup mutExGroup) {
    JMenuItem item = new JRadioButtonMenuItem(label);
    return item;

  // An event listener class used with the menu items created above
  // For this demo, it just displays a dialog box when an item is selected
  public static class MenuItemActionListener implements ActionListener {
    Component parent;
    public MenuItemActionListener(Component parent) { this.parent = parent; }
    public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
      JMenuItem item = (JMenuItem) e.getSource();
      String cmd = item.getActionCommand();
      JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(parent, cmd + " was selected.");

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