How to Add Menu Controls to a Form from an Add-In

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This article explains how to use the AddMenuTemplate method to Add menu controls to a form from an Add-in. It also provides an example demonstrating how the method is used.


The FormTemplate object of the "Visual Basic Design Environment" object model provides the AddMenuTemplate method. This method allows an add-in to add menu controls to a form. It can add both top-level menus and submenus. The syntax for the AddMenuTemplate method is as follows:
   Menu = Form.AddMenuTemplate(Name, Parent)

      Form   - A FormTemplate object
      Name   - A string specifying the Name property for the new menu
      Parent - A ControlTemplate object representing the parent menu item
               that the new menu item become a child of
      Menu   - A ControlTemplate object that will be set to the new menu

To add a top-level menu to a form, you must specify a Parent object that is set to Nothing. The following shows how this is done by passing the keyword Nothing as the Parent parameter:
   Set MyMenu = MyForm.AddMenuTemplate("mnuFile", Nothing)

To add a submenu, you must specify an existing menu ControlTemplate as the Parent parameter. The syntax is as follows:
   Set MySubMenu = MyForm.AddMenuTemplate("mnuFileOpen", MyMenu)

The AddMenuTemplate method adds the new menus to the end of existing menus. Menus can't be inserted between two existing menus.

Once you have added a menu, you can modify its properties to:
  • Change the caption
  • Add a shortcut key
  • Make a menu separator
  • Enable it
  • Hide it
  • Turn it into a control array
  • And more
The object returned by the AddMenuTemplate method is a ControlTemplate object that references the newly added menu. The properties of the menu can be set through the Properties collection of the ControlTemplate. For example, to change the caption, use this:
   MyMenu.Properties("&Caption").Value = "New Caption"

You can add an access key to any menu by placing an ampersand (&) in front of the desired access key in the caption. In the preceding example, C would be the access key.

You can only add a shortcut key to a submenu. To set a shortcut key, you gain access to the Shortcut property in the same manner that you gain access to the Caption property. The Shortcut property is an enumerated property. Visual Basic defines constants such as vbMenuAccelCtrlO for setting the Shortcut property.

To create a menu separator, first add a submenu. Next, set the Caption property to a dash. This indicates to Visual Basic that you want a menu separator instead of a submenu.

To hide a menu item, set the Visible property to False. This will not work on a submenu if it is the only visible submenu.

Step-by-Step Example

  1. Start a new project in Visual Basic.
  2. Remove the default form (Form1).
  3. Add a new standard module (Module1.bas by default.)
  4. Put the following code in the standard module:
       ''' MODULE1.BAS
       Option Explicit
       #If Win16 Then
          Declare Function WritePrivateProfileString Lib "KERNEL" ( _
             ByVal AppName As String, ByVal KeyName As String, _
             ByVal keydefault As String, ByVal FileName As String) As Integer
          Declare Function GetPrivateProfileString Lib "KERNEL" ( _
             ByVal AppName As String, ByVal KeyName As String, _
             ByVal keydefault As String, ByVal ReturnString As String, _
             ByVal NumBytes As Integer, ByVal FileName As String) As Integer
       #ElseIf Win32 Then
          Declare Function WritePrivateProfileString Lib "Kernel32" _
             Alias "WritePrivateProfileStringA" (ByVal AppName As String, _
             ByVal KeyName As String, ByVal keydefault As String, _
             ByVal FileName As String) As Long
          Declare Function GetPrivateProfileString Lib "Kernel32" _
             Alias "GetPrivateProfileStringA" (ByVal AppName As String, _
             ByVal KeyName As String, ByVal keydefault As String, _
             ByVal ReturnString As String, ByVal NumBytes As Long, _
             ByVal FileName As String) As Long
       #End If
       Sub Main()
          #If Win16 Then
             Const Section = "Add-Ins16"
          #ElseIf Win32 Then
             Const Section = "Add-Ins32"
          #End If
          Const BufSize = 255
          Dim Ret As Variant
          Dim RetStr As String
          ' Hide the Addin from the Task Manager
          App.TaskVisible = False
          ' Check to see if the entry is already in the VB.ini file.
          ' Add if not.
          RetStr = Space(BufSize)
          Ret = GetPrivateProfileString(Section, "AddinExample.MenuControl", _
             "NotFound", RetStr, BufSize, "VB.INI")
          RetStr = Left(RetStr, Ret)
          If RetStr = "NotFound" Then
             WritePrivateProfileString Section, "AddinExample.MenuControl", _
                "0", "VB.INI"
          End If
       End Sub
  5. Add a new class module to the project (Class1.cls by default.)
  6. Set the following properties of the class module to the specified values:
       Property        Value
       Instancing      1 - Creatable SingleUse
       Name            MenuControl
       Public          True
  7. Put the following code in the class module:
       ''' CLASS1.CLS
       Option Explicit
       Private ThisInstance As Object 'VBIDE.Application
       Private AddInMenuLine As Object 'VBIDE.SubMenu
       Private AddInID As Long
       Public Sub ConnectAddIn(VBInstance As Object)
          Set ThisInstance = VBInstance
          Set AddInMenuLine = ThisInstance.AddInMenu.MenuItems.Add( _
             "Menu Control Example")
          AddInID = AddInMenuLine.ConnectEvents(Me)
       End Sub
       Public Sub DisconnectAddIn(Mode As Integer)
          AddInMenuLine.DisconnectEvents AddInID
          ThisInstance.AddInMenu.MenuItems.Remove AddInMenuLine
       End Sub
       Public Sub AfterClick()
          Dim CurrentForm As Object 'VBIDE.FormTemplate
          Dim mnuFile As Object 'VBIDE.ControlTemplate
          Dim mnuFileOpen As Object 'VBIDE.ControlTemplate
          Dim mnuFileSeparator As Object 'VBIDE.ControlTemplate
          Dim mnuFileMRU As Object 'VBIDE.ControlTemplate
          ' Set a reference to the Active Form
          Set CurrentForm = ThisInstance.ActiveProject.ActiveForm
          ' Create the top-level File menu
          Set mnuFile = CurrentForm.AddMenuTemplate("mnuFile", Nothing)
          mnuFile.Properties("Caption").Value = "&File"
          ' Add the Open menu under the File menu
          Set mnuFileOpen = CurrentForm.AddMenuTemplate("mnuFileOpen", mnuFile)
          mnuFileOpen.Properties("Caption").Value = "&Open"
          mnuFileOpen.Properties("Shortcut").Value = vbMenuAccelCtrlO
          ' Add a separator
          Set mnuFileSeparator = CurrentForm.AddMenuTemplate _
             ("mnuFileSeparator", mnuFile)
          mnuFileSeparator.Properties("Caption").Value = "-"
          ' Add MRU under the File menu
          Set mnuFileMRU = CurrentForm.AddMenuTemplate("mnuFileMRU", mnuFile)
          mnuFileMRU.Properties("Caption").Value = "MRU"
          mnuFileMRU.Properties("Visible").Value = False ' Make Invisible
          mnuFileMRU.Properties("Index").Value = 0  ' Make into control array
       End Sub
  8. Set the following Project Options:
       Option            Value
       Startup Form      Sub Main
       Project Name      AddinExample
       StartMode         OLE Server
       Error Trapping    Break in Class Module
  9. Save the project.
  10. Run the project.
  11. Start a second instance of Visual Basic. Form1 is created by default.
  12. Use the Add-In Manager to add the AddinExample.MenuControl Add-In.
  13. Set the focus to Form1.
  14. On the Add-In menu, click Menu Control Example.
The Add-In should add a File menu to Form1. Under the file menu will be an Open submenu. The Open submenu will have CTRL+O as a shortcut key. Below the Open submenu will be a menu separator. Below the separator there will be an invisible MRU menu control array.


Article ID: 137038 - Last Review: February 28, 2014 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 16-bit Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 32-Bit Enterprise Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive KB137038

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