Adding a Submenu to a Menu


This article applies to Visual Studio 2015. If you're looking for Visual Studio 2017 documentation, use the version selector at the top left. We recommend upgrading to Visual Studio 2017. Download it here.

This walkthrough builds on the demonstration in Adding a Menu to the Visual Studio Menu Bar by showing how to add a submenu to the TestMenu menu.

A submenu is a secondary menu that appears in another menu. A submenu can be identified by the arrow that follows its name. Clicking the name causes the submenu and its commands to be displayed.

This walkthrough creates a submenu in a menu on the Visual Studio menu bar and puts a new command on the submenu. The walkthrough also implements the new command.


Starting in Visual Studio 2015, you do not install the Visual Studio SDK from the download center. It is included as an optional feature in Visual Studio setup. You can also install the VS SDK later on. For more information, see Installing the Visual Studio SDK.

Adding a Submenu to a Menu

  1. Follow the steps in Adding a Menu to the Visual Studio Menu Bar to create the project and menu item. The steps in this walkthrough assume that the name of the VSIX project is TopLevelMenu.

  2. Open TestCommandPackage.vsct. In the <Symbols> section, add an <IDSymbol> element for the submenu, one for the submenu group, and one for the command, all in the <GuidSymbol> node named "guidTopLevelMenuCmdSet." This is the same node that contains the <IDSymbol> element for the top-level menu.

    <IDSymbol name="SubMenu" value="0x1100"/>  
    <IDSymbol name="SubMenuGroup" value="0x1150"/>  
    <IDSymbol name="cmdidTestSubCommand" value="0x0105"/>  
  3. Add the newly created submenu to the <Menus> section.

    <Menu guid="guidTestCommandPackageCmdSet" id="SubMenu" priority="0x0100" type="Menu">  
        <Parent guid="guidTestCommandPackageCmdSet" id="MyMenuGroup"/>  
            <ButtonText>Sub Menu</ButtonText>  
            <CommandName>Sub Menu</CommandName>  

    The GUID/ID pair of the parent specifies the menu group that was generated in Adding a Menu to the Visual Studio Menu Bar, and is a child of the top-level menu.

  4. Add the menu group defined in step 2 to the <Groups> section and make it a child of the submenu.

    <Group guid="guidTestCommandPackageCmdSet" id="SubMenuGroup" priority="0x0000">  
        <Parent guid="guidTestCommandPackageCmdSet" id="SubMenu"/>  
  5. Add a new <Button> element to the <Buttons> section to define the command created in step 2 as an item on the submenu.

    <Button guid="guidTestCommandPackageCmdSet" id="cmdidTestSubCommand" priority="0x0000" type="Button">  
        <Parent guid="guidTestCommandPackageCmdSet" id="SubMenuGroup" />  
        <Icon guid="guidImages" id="bmpPic2" />  
           <ButtonText>Test Sub Command</ButtonText>  
  6. Build the solution and start debugging. You should see the experimental instance.

  7. Click TestMenu to see a new submenu named Sub Menu. Click Sub Menu to open the submenu and see a new command, Test Sub Command. Notice that clicking Test Sub Command does nothing.

Adding a Command

  1. Open TestCommand.cs and add the following command ID after the existing command ID.

    public const int cmdidTestSubCmd = 0x105;  
  2. Add the sub-command. Find the command constructor. Add the following lines just after the call to the AddCommand method.

    CommandID subCommandID = new CommandID(CommandSet, (int)TestCommandPackageGuids.cmdidTestSubCmd);  
    MenuCommand subItem = new MenuCommand(  
        new EventHandler(SubItemCallback), subCommandID);  

    The SubItemCallback command handler will be defined later. The constructor should now look like this:

    private TestCommand(Package package)  
                if (package == null)  
                    throw new ArgumentNullException("package");  
                this.package = package;  
                OleMenuCommandService commandService = this.ServiceProvider.GetService(typeof(IMenuCommandService)) as OleMenuCommandService;  
                if (commandService != null)  
                    var menuCommandID = new CommandID(CommandSet, CommandId);  
                    var menuItem = new MenuCommand(this.MenuItemCallback, menuCommandID);  
                    CommandID subCommandID = new CommandID(CommandSet, cmdidTestSubCmd);  
                    MenuCommand subItem = new MenuCommand(  
                        new EventHandler(SubItemCallback), subCommandID);  
  3. Add SubItemCallback(). This is the method that is called when the new command in the submenu is clicked.

    private void SubItemCallback(object sender, EventArgs e)  
        IVsUIShell uiShell = (IVsUIShell)this.ServiceProvider.GetService(  
        Guid clsid = Guid.Empty;  
        int result;  
            ref clsid,  
            "Inside TestCommand.SubItemCallback()",  
            out result);  
  4. Build the project and start debugging. The experimental instance should appear.

  5. On the TestMenu menu, click Sub Menu and then click Test Sub Command. A message box should appear and display the text, "Test Command Inside TestCommand.SubItemCallback()".

See Also

Adding a Menu to the Visual Studio Menu Bar
Commands, Menus, and Toolbars