How To Right Justify the Help Menu Item in Visual Basic

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Article ID: 216189 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

Many applications (especially older, 16-bit programs) have the Help menu item right-justified on the menu bar. That is, "Help" appears all the way to the right instead of the left, grouped with the other top level menu items. The Visual Basic Menu Editor does not supply this functionality, but it is fairly easy to implement this feature with a few WIN32 API calls, as demonstrated in this example.

NOTE: The use of a right-justified Help menu in an application is not the recommended style for creating Windows applications. This article provides this information without recommending its use.

MORE INFORMATION

Step-by-Step Example

  1. Open a new Standard EXE project. Form1 is created by default.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Menu Editor. Create a menu with "Help" as the last top level menu item.
  3. Add the following code to the General Declarations section of Form1:

    Option Explicit
    
    Private Type MENUITEMINFO
       cbSize As Long
       fMask As Long
       fType As Long
       fState As Long
       wID As Long
       hSubMenu As Long
       hbmpChecked As Long
       hbmpUnchecked As Long
       dwItemData As Long
       dwTypeData As String
       cch As Long
    End Type
    
    Private Const MF_STRING = &H0&
    Private Const MF_HELP = &H4000&
    Private Const MFS_DEFAULT = &H1000&
    
    Private Const MIIM_ID = &H2
    Private Const MIIM_SUBMENU = &H4
    Private Const MIIM_TYPE = &H10
    Private Const MIIM_DATA = &H20
    
    Private Declare Function GetMenu Lib "user32" (ByVal hwnd As Long) As Long
    
    Private Declare Function GetMenuItemInfo Lib "user32" _
       Alias "GetMenuItemInfoA" _
       (ByVal hMenu As Long, ByVal un As Long, ByVal B As Boolean, _
       lpMenuItemInfo As MENUITEMINFO) As Long
     
    Private Declare Function SetMenuItemInfo Lib "user32" _
       Alias "SetMenuItemInfoA" _
       (ByVal hMenu As Long, ByVal un As Long, ByVal bool As Boolean, _
       lpcMenuItemInfo As MENUITEMINFO) As Long
    
    Private Declare Function DrawMenuBar Lib "user32" (ByVal hwnd As Long) _
       As Long
    
    Private Sub Form_Load()
       Dim mnuItemInfo As MENUITEMINFO, hMenu As Long
       Dim BuffStr As String * 80   ' Define as largest possible menu text.
    
       hMenu = GetMenu(Me.hwnd)   ' Retrieve the menu handle.
       BuffStr = Space(80)
       With mnuItemInfo   ' Initialize UDT
             .cbSize = Len(mnuItemInfo)   ' 44
             .dwTypeData = BuffStr & Chr(0)
             .fType = MF_STRING
             .cch = Len(mnuItemInfo.dwTypeData)   ' 80
             .fState = MFS_DEFAULT
             .fMask = MIIM_ID Or MIIM_DATA Or MIIM_TYPE Or MIIM_SUBMENU
       End With
       ' Use the desired item's position for the '3' below (zero-based list).
       If GetMenuItemInfo(hMenu, 3, True, mnuItemInfo) = 0 Then
          MsgBox "GetMenuItemInfo failed. Error: " & Err.LastDllError, , _
                 "Error"
       Else
          mnuItemInfo.fType = mnuItemInfo.fType Or MF_HELP
          If SetMenuItemInfo(hMenu, 3, True, mnuItemInfo) = 0 Then
             MsgBox "SetMenuItemInfo failed. Error: " & Err.LastDllError, , _
                    "Error"
          End If
       End If
       DrawMenuBar (Me.hwnd)   ' Repaint top level Menu
    End Sub
    						
  4. Run the project. Notice that "Help" is right-justified at the far right-side of the menu bar and is completely functional.

REFERENCES

For additional information about manipulation menus in Visual Basic, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

216185 How To Create Multi-Column Menus in Visual Basic Using the WIN32 API

(c) Microsoft Corporation 1999, All Rights Reserved. Contributions by Chris E. Jolley, Microsoft Corporation.

Properties

Article ID: 216189 - Last Review: February 21, 2014 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Enterprise Edition
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhowto kbmenu kbapi KB216189

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