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MenuItem Class

Updated: February 2009

Represents a selectable item inside a Menu.

Namespace:  System.Windows.Controls
Assembly:  PresentationFramework (in PresentationFramework.dll)

[StyleTypedPropertyAttribute(Property = "ItemContainerStyle", StyleTargetType = typeof(MenuItem))]
[TemplatePartAttribute(Name = "PART_Popup", Type = typeof(Popup))]
public class MenuItem : HeaderedItemsControl, ICommandSource

Content Model: MenuItem is a HeaderedItemsControl. Its content properties are Items and ItemsSource and its header property is Header. For more information on the content model for MenuItem, see Controls Content Model Overview.

A MenuItem can have submenus. The submenu of the MenuItem is made up of the objects within the ItemCollection of a MenuItem. It is common for a MenuItem to contain other MenuItem objects to create nested submenus.

A MenuItem can have one of several functions:

  • It can be selected to invoke a command.

  • It can be a separator for other menu items.

  • It can be a header for a submenu.

  • It can be checked or unchecked.


   By default, the HorizontalAlignment of a MenuItem is set to HorizontalAlignment.Stretch. The default horizontal position of a StackPanel is HorizontalAlignment.Center. If you set the Width property of a MenuItem through a StackPanel, the stack panel's default is applied and the item is centered.

The MenuItem handles the MouseDown event, so if you attach an event handler to MouseDown, your handler will never be called. To add your own handler, subscribe to the PreviewMouseDown event or subscribe to MouseDown by calling AddHandler(RoutedEvent, Delegate, Boolean) with handledEventsToo set to true.

Dependency properties for this control might be set by the control’s default style. If a property is set by a default style, the property might change from its default value when the control appears in the application. The default style is determined by which desktop theme is used when the application is running. For more information, see Themes.

The following example creates a Menu to manipulate text in a TextBox. The Menu contains MenuItem objects that use the Command, IsCheckable, and Header properties and the Checked, Unchecked, and Click events.

  <MenuItem Header="_Edit">
    <MenuItem Command="ApplicationCommands.Copy"/>
    <MenuItem Command="ApplicationCommands.Cut"/>
    <MenuItem Command="ApplicationCommands.Paste"/>
  <MenuItem Header="_Font">
    <MenuItem Header="_Bold" IsCheckable="True"
    <MenuItem Header="_Italic" IsCheckable="True"
    <MenuItem Header="I_ncrease Font Size"
    <MenuItem Header="_Decrease Font Size"
<TextBox Name="textBox1" TextWrapping="Wrap"
  The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
private void Bold_Checked(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    textBox1.FontWeight = FontWeights.Bold;

private void Bold_Unchecked(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    textBox1.FontWeight = FontWeights.Normal;

private void Italic_Checked(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    textBox1.FontStyle = FontStyles.Italic;

private void Italic_Unchecked(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    textBox1.FontStyle = FontStyles.Normal;

private void IncreaseFont_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    if (textBox1.FontSize < 18)
        textBox1.FontSize += 2;

private void DecreaseFont_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    if (textBox1.FontSize > 10)
        textBox1.FontSize -= 2;


Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0




February 2009

Described how default styles change dependency properties.

Customer feedback.