Menus and toolbars

In this part of the IronPython Mono Winforms tutorial, we will talk about menus and toolbars.

A menubar is one of the most visible parts of the GUI application. It is a group of commands located in various menus. While in console applications you had to remember all those arcane commands, here we have most of the commands grouped into logical parts. There are accepted standards that further reduce the amount of time spending to learn a new application.

Simple menu

In the first example, we create a simple menu.

simplemenu.py
#!/usr/bin/ipy

import clr
clr.AddReference("System.Windows.Forms")
clr.AddReference("System.Drawing")

from System.Windows.Forms import Application, Form
from System.Windows.Forms import Keys, MenuStrip, ToolStripMenuItem
from System.Drawing import Size

class IForm(Form):

    def __init__(self):
        self.Text = 'Simple Menu'
        self.Size = Size(250, 200)

        ms = MenuStrip()
        ms.Parent = self
        
        filem = ToolStripMenuItem("&File")         
        exit = ToolStripMenuItem("&Exit", None,
            self.OnExit)  
        exit.ShortcutKeys = Keys.Control | Keys.X
        filem.DropDownItems.Add(exit)

        ms.Items.Add(filem)
        self.MainMenuStrip = ms
        
        self.CenterToScreen()
    

    def OnExit(self, sender, event):
        self.Close()
    

Application.Run(IForm())

In our example, we have a menubar and one menu. Inside a menu there is one menu item. If we select the menu item, application is closed.

Notice the ways how we can close the application. We can close it by using the Ctrl+X shorcut or by pressing Alt+F+E keys.

ms = MenuStrip()

MenuStrip creates a menu system for our form. We add ToolStripMenuItem objects to the MenuStrip that represent the individual menu commands in the menu structure. Each ToolStripMenuItem can be a command for your application or a parent menu for other submenu items.

filem = ToolStripMenuItem("&File")           

Here we create a menu.

exit = ToolStripMenuItem("&Exit", None,
    self.OnExit)     

This line creates the exit menu item.

exit.ShortcutKeys = Keys.Control | Keys.X

We provide a shortcut for the exit menu item.

filem.DropDownItems.Add(exit)

The exit menu item is added to the drop down items of the menu object.

ms.Items.Add(filem)   

Here we add the menu object into the menu strip.

self.MainMenuStrip = ms

The MenuStrip is plugged into the form.

Simple menu
Figure: Simple menu

Submenu

Each menu item can also have a submenu. This way we can group similar commnads into groups. For example we can place commands that hide or show various toolbars like personal bar, address bar, status bar or navigation bar into a submenu called toolbars.

submenu.py
#!/usr/bin/ipy

import clr
clr.AddReference("System.Windows.Forms")
clr.AddReference("System.Drawing")

from System.Windows.Forms import Application, Form
from System.Windows.Forms import MenuStrip, ToolStripMenuItem
from System.Drawing import Size

class IForm(Form):

    def __init__(self):
        self.Text = 'Simple Menu'
        self.Size = Size(380, 200)

        ms = MenuStrip()
        ms.Parent = self

        filem = ToolStripMenuItem("&File")
        exit = ToolStripMenuItem("&Exit", None,
            self.OnExit)

        importm = ToolStripMenuItem()
        importm.Text = "Import"

        filem.DropDownItems.Add(importm)

        temp = ToolStripMenuItem()
        temp.Text = "Import newsfeed list..."
        importm.DropDownItems.Add(temp)

        temp = ToolStripMenuItem()
        temp.Text = "Import bookmarks..."
        importm.DropDownItems.Add(temp)

        temp = ToolStripMenuItem()
        temp.Text = "Import mail..."
        importm.DropDownItems.Add(temp)

        filem.DropDownItems.Add(exit)

        ms.Items.Add(filem)
        self.MainMenuStrip = ms
        
        self.CenterToScreen()
    

    def OnExit(self, sender, event):
        self.Close()
    

Application.Run(IForm())

In this example, we create one submenu. The submenu Import has three menu items.

importm = ToolStripMenuItem()
importm.Text = "Import"

A ToolStripMenuItem can be a menu or a menu item. Here it will act as a submenu.

temp = ToolStripMenuItem()
temp.Text = "Import newsfeed list..."
importm.DropDownItems.Add(temp)

Here we create a menu item and add it to the Import submenu.

Submenu
Figure: Submenu

Check menu item

The next code example demonstrates, how to create a checked menu item.

checkmenuitem.py
#!/usr/bin/ipy

import clr
clr.AddReference("System.Windows.Forms")
clr.AddReference("System.Drawing")

from System.Windows.Forms import Application, Form, StatusBar
from System.Windows.Forms import Shortcut, MainMenu, MenuItem
from System.Drawing import Size



class IForm(Form):

    def __init__(self):
        self.Text = 'Simple Menu'
        
        self.sb = StatusBar()
        self.sb.Parent = self
        self.sb.Text = "Ready"

        mainMenu = MainMenu()

        filem = mainMenu.MenuItems.Add("&File")    
        filem.MenuItems.Add(MenuItem("E&xit", 
                 self.OnExit, Shortcut.CtrlX))

        view = mainMenu.MenuItems.Add("&View")
        self.viewStatusBar = MenuItem("View StatusBar")
        self.viewStatusBar.Checked = True
        self.viewStatusBar.Click += self.ToggleStatusBar
        view.MenuItems.Add(self.viewStatusBar)

        self.Menu = mainMenu
        self.Size = Size(250, 200)

        self.CenterToScreen()
    
    def OnExit(self, sender, event):
        self.Close()


    def ToggleStatusBar(self, sender, event):
        check = self.viewStatusBar.Checked

        if (check):
            self.sb.Visible = False
            self.viewStatusBar.Checked = False
        else:
            self.sb.Visible = True
            self.viewStatusBar.Checked = True
        
    
Application.Run(IForm())

We have two menus: File and View. The View menu has a menu item that toggles the visibility of the statusbar.

mainMenu = MainMenu()

In this example, we use the MainMenu control. To create a menubar, we can use either MainMenu or MenuStrip controls. The latter has some additional functionality.

self.viewStatusBar.Checked = True

This menu item is checked by default, because the statusbar is visible from the start of the application.

check = self.viewStatusBar.Checked

if (check):
    self.sb.Visible = False
    self.viewStatusBar.Checked = False
else:
    self.sb.Visible = True
    self.viewStatusBar.Checked = True

We determine if the menu item is checked. We show and hide the statusbar and the check tick depending on the check value.

Check menu item
Figure: Check menu item

Images, separator

We will further enhance our knowledge of the MenuStrip control. We will create a menu item with an image and show how to separate them with a separator.

menustrip.py
#!/usr/bin/ipy

import clr
clr.AddReference("System.Windows.Forms")
clr.AddReference("System.Drawing")

from System.Windows.Forms import Application, Form, MenuStrip
from System.Windows.Forms import ToolStripMenuItem, ToolStripSeparator
from System.Drawing import Size, Image

class IForm(Form):

    def __init__(self):
        self.Text = 'MenuStrip'
        self.Size = Size(250, 200)

        menuStrip = MenuStrip()
   
        titem1 = ToolStripMenuItem("File")
        menuStrip.Items.Add(titem1)
  
        titem2 = ToolStripMenuItem("Tools")
        menuStrip.Items.Add(titem2)
  
        subm1 = ToolStripMenuItem("New")
        subm1.Image = Image.FromFile("new.png")
        titem1.DropDownItems.Add(subm1)
   
        subm2 = ToolStripMenuItem("Open") 
        subm2.Image = Image.FromFile("open.png")
        titem1.DropDownItems.Add(subm2)
  
        titem1.DropDownItems.Add(ToolStripSeparator())

        subm3 = ToolStripMenuItem("Exit")
        subm3.Image = Image.FromFile("exit.png")
        titem1.DropDownItems.Add(subm3)  
  
        subm3.Click += self.OnExit
        self.Controls.Add(menuStrip)
        self.MainMenuStrip = menuStrip 
        
        self.CenterToScreen()
    

    def OnExit(self, sender, event):
        self.Close()
    

Application.Run(IForm())

We have two menus in our code example: File and Tools. In the File we have three menu items with images. We have also one separator. In this example, the png images must be located in the current working directory.

subm1 = ToolStripMenuItem("New")
subm1.Image = Image.FromFile("new.png")
titem1.DropDownItems.Add(subm1)

Here we create the first menu item. To add an image to the item, we set the Image property to our image. We create an Image from the specified file using the FromFile() method.

titem1.DropDownItems.Add(ToolStripSeparator())

Here we add a separator to the File menu.

MenuStrip
Figure: Images and separator

ToolBar

Menus group all commands that we can use in an application. Toolbars provide a quick access to the most frequently used commands. ToolBar control is used to display ToolBarButton controls. We can assign images to the buttons by creating an ImageList. We than assign the image list to the ImageList property of the toolbar and assign the image index value to the ImageIndex property for each ToolBarButton.

toolbar.py
#!/usr/bin/ipy

import clr
clr.AddReference("System.Windows.Forms")
clr.AddReference("System.Drawing")
clr.AddReference("System")

from System.Windows.Forms import Application, Form
from System.Windows.Forms import ToolBar, ToolBarButton, ImageList
from System.Drawing import Size, Icon



class IForm(Form):

    def __init__(self):
        self.Text = 'Simple ToolBar'
        self.Size = Size(250, 200)

        toolBar = ToolBar()
        toolBarIcons = ImageList()
        save = ToolBarButton()
        exit = ToolBarButton()

        save.ImageIndex = 0
        save.Tag = "Save"
        exit.ImageIndex = 1
        exit.Tag = "Exit"

        toolBar.ImageList = toolBarIcons
        toolBar.ShowToolTips = True
        toolBar.Buttons.AddRange((save, exit))
        toolBar.ButtonClick += self.OnClicked
    
        toolBarIcons.ImageSize = Size(16, 16)
        toolBarIcons.Images.Add(Icon("new.ico"))
        toolBarIcons.Images.Add(Icon("exit.ico"))

        self.Controls.Add(toolBar)
        self.CenterToScreen()
    
    def OnClicked(self, sender, event):
        if event.Button.Tag == "Exit":
            self.Close()
    

Application.Run(IForm())

In our example, we show two buttons on the toolbar.

toolBar = ToolBar()

Here we create the ToolBar control.

toolBarIcons = ImageList()

An image list is created.

save = ToolBarButton()
exit = ToolBarButton()

These are two toolbar buttons.

save.ImageIndex = 0

We determine which icon from the image list will be used for the save toolbar button.

toolBar.Buttons.AddRange((save, exit))

The ToolBarButton controls are added to the toolbar.

toolBarIcons.Images.Add(Icon("new.ico"))
toolBarIcons.Images.Add(Icon("exit.ico"))

Icons are added to the image list.

if event.Button.Tag == "Exit":
    self.Close()

If the tag of the button equals to "Exit", we close the application.

ToolBar
Figure: ToolBar

This part of the IronPython Winforms tutorial was about menus and toolbars.