Menu flyout and menu bar

Menu flyouts are used in menu and context menu scenarios to display a list of commands or options when requested by the user. A menu flyout shows a single, inline, top-level menu that can have menu items and sub-menus. To show a set of multiple top-level menus in a horizontal row, use menu bar (which you typically position at the top of the app window).

Example of a typical context menu

Get the Windows UI Library

WinUI logo

The MenuBar control is included as part of the Windows UI Library, a NuGet package that contains new controls and UI features for Windows apps. For more info, including installation instructions, see the Windows UI Library overview.

Windows UI Library APIs: MenuBar class

Platform APIs: MenuFlyout class, MenuBar class, ContextFlyout property, FlyoutBase.AttachedFlyout property

Is this the right control?

See menus and context menus for help identifying menu vs. context menu scenarios and guidance on when to use menu flyout vs. command bar flyout.

Menu flyouts can be used as menus and context menus to organize commands. To display arbitrary content, such as a notification or confirmation request, use a dialog or a flyout.

If a particular command will be used frequently and you have the space available, see collection commanding for examples on placing a command directly in its own element so that users don't have to go through a menu to get to it.

Examples

XAML Controls Gallery
XAML controls gallery

If you have the XAML Controls Gallery app installed, click here to open the app and see the MenuFlyout in action.

Create a menu flyout

To create a menu flyout, you use the MenuFlyout class. You define the contents of the menu by adding MenuFlyoutItem, MenuFlyoutSubItem, ToggleMenuFlyoutItem, RadioMenuFlyoutItem and MenuFlyoutSeparator objects to the MenuFlyout.

These objects are for:

This example creates a MenuFlyout and uses the ContextFlyout property, a property available to most controls, to show the MenuFlyout as a context menu.

<Rectangle
  Height="100" Width="100">
  <Rectangle.ContextFlyout>
    <MenuFlyout>
      <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Change color" Click="ChangeColorItem_Click" />
    </MenuFlyout>
  </Rectangle.ContextFlyout>
  <Rectangle.Fill>
    <SolidColorBrush x:Name="rectangleFill" Color="Red" />
  </Rectangle.Fill>
</Rectangle>
private void ChangeColorItem_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
    // Change the color from red to blue or blue to red.
    if (rectangleFill.Color == Windows.UI.Colors.Red)
    {
        rectangleFill.Color = Windows.UI.Colors.Blue;
    }
    else
    {
        rectangleFill.Color = Windows.UI.Colors.Red;
    }
}

The next example is nearly identical, but instead of using the ContextFlyout property to show the MenuFlyout class as a context menu, the example uses the FlyoutBase.ShowAttachedFlyout property to show it as a menu.

<Rectangle
  Height="100" Width="100"
  Tapped="Rectangle_Tapped">
  <FlyoutBase.AttachedFlyout>
    <MenuFlyout>
      <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Change color" Click="ChangeColorItem_Click" />
    </MenuFlyout>
  </FlyoutBase.AttachedFlyout>
  <Rectangle.Fill>
    <SolidColorBrush x:Name="rectangleFill" Color="Red" />
  </Rectangle.Fill>
</Rectangle>
private void Rectangle_Tapped(object sender, TappedRoutedEventArgs e)
{
    FlyoutBase.ShowAttachedFlyout((FrameworkElement)sender);
}

private void ChangeColorItem_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
    // Change the color from red to blue or blue to red.
    if (rectangleFill.Color == Windows.UI.Colors.Red)
    {
        rectangleFill.Color = Windows.UI.Colors.Blue;
    }
    else
    {
        rectangleFill.Color = Windows.UI.Colors.Red;
    }
}

Icons

Consider providing menu item icons for:

  • The most commonly used items.
  • Menu items whose icon is standard or well known.
  • Menu items whose icon well illustrates what the command does.

Don't feel obligated to provide icons for commands that don't have a standard visualization. Cryptic icons aren't helpful, create visual clutter, and prevent users from focusing on the important menu items.

Example context menu with icons

<MenuFlyout>
  <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Share" >
    <MenuFlyoutItem.Icon>
      <FontIcon Glyph="&#xE72D;" />
    </MenuFlyoutItem.Icon>
  </MenuFlyoutItem>
  <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Copy" Icon="Copy" />
  <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Delete" Icon="Delete" />
  <MenuFlyoutSeparator />
  <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Rename" />
  <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Select" />
</MenuFlyout>

Tip

The size of the icon in a MenuFlyoutItem is 16x16px. If you use SymbolIcon, FontIcon, or PathIcon, the icon automatically scales to the correct size with no loss of fidelity. If you use BitmapIcon, ensure that your asset is 16x16px.

Light dismiss

Light dismiss controls such as menus, context menus, and other flyouts, trap keyboard and gamepad focus inside the transient UI until dismissed. To provide a visual cue for this behavior, light dismiss controls on Xbox will draw an overlay that dims the visibility of out of scope UI. This behavior can be modified with the LightDismissOverlayMode property. By default, transient UIs will draw the light dismiss overlay on Xbox (Auto) but not other device families. You can choose to force the overlay to be always On or always Off.

<MenuFlyout LightDismissOverlayMode="Off" />

Create a menu bar

Important

MenuBar requires Windows 10, version 1809 (SDK 17763) or later, or the Windows UI Library.

You use the same elements to create menus in a menu bar as in a menu flyout. However, instead of grouping MenuFlyoutItem objects in a MenuFlyout, you group them in a MenuBarItem element. Each MenuBarItem is added to the MenuBar as a top level menu.

Example of a menu bar

Note

This example shows only how to create the UI structure, but does not show implementation of any of the commands.

<muxc:MenuBar>
    <muxc:MenuBarItem Title="File">
        <MenuFlyoutSubItem Text="New">
            <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Plain Text Document"/>
            <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Rich Text Document"/>
            <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Other Formats..."/>
        </MenuFlyoutSubItem>
        <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Open..."/>
        <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Save"/>
        <MenuFlyoutSeparator />
        <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Exit"/>
    </muxc:MenuBarItem>

    <muxc:MenuBarItem Title="Edit">
        <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Undo"/>
        <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Cut"/>
        <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Copy"/>
        <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Paste"/>
    </muxc:MenuBarItem>

    <muxc:MenuBarItem Title="View">
        <MenuFlyoutItem Text="Output"/>
        <MenuFlyoutSeparator/>
        <muxc:RadioMenuFlyoutItem Text="Landscape" GroupName="OrientationGroup"/>
        <muxc:RadioMenuFlyoutItem Text="Portrait" GroupName="OrientationGroup" IsChecked="True"/>
        <MenuFlyoutSeparator/>
        <muxc:RadioMenuFlyoutItem Text="Small icons" GroupName="SizeGroup"/>
        <muxc:RadioMenuFlyoutItem Text="Medium icons" IsChecked="True" GroupName="SizeGroup"/>
        <muxc:RadioMenuFlyoutItem Text="Large icons" GroupName="SizeGroup"/>
    </muxc:MenuBarItem>

    <muxc:MenuBarItem Title="Help">
        <MenuFlyoutItem Text="About"/>
    </muxc:MenuBarItem>
</muxc:MenuBar>

Get the sample code