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ContextMenu Class

Represents a shortcut menu. Although ContextMenuStrip replaces and adds functionality to the ContextMenu control of previous versions, ContextMenu is retained for both backward compatibility and future use if you choose.

Namespace:  System.Windows.Forms
Assembly:  System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

public class ContextMenu : Menu

The ContextMenu type exposes the following members.

Public methodContextMenu()Initializes a new instance of the ContextMenu class with no menu items specified.
Public methodContextMenu(MenuItem[])Initializes a new instance of the ContextMenu class with a specified set of MenuItem objects.

Protected propertyCanRaiseEventsGets a value indicating whether the component can raise an event. (Inherited from Component.)
Public propertyContainerGets the IContainer that contains the Component. (Inherited from Component.)
Protected propertyDesignModeGets a value that indicates whether the Component is currently in design mode. (Inherited from Component.)
Protected propertyEventsGets the list of event handlers that are attached to this Component. (Inherited from Component.)
Public propertyHandleGets a value representing the window handle for the menu. (Inherited from Menu.)
Public propertyIsParentGets a value indicating whether this menu contains any menu items. This property is read-only. (Inherited from Menu.)
Public propertyMdiListItemGets a value indicating the MenuItem that is used to display a list of multiple document interface (MDI) child forms. (Inherited from Menu.)
Public propertyMenuItemsGets a value indicating the collection of MenuItem objects associated with the menu. (Inherited from Menu.)
Public propertyNameGets or sets the name of the Menu. (Inherited from Menu.)
Public propertyRightToLeftGets or sets a value indicating whether text displayed by the control is displayed from right to left.
Public propertySiteGets or sets the ISite of the Component. (Inherited from Component.)
Public propertySourceControlGets the control that is displaying the shortcut menu.
Public propertyTagGets or sets user-defined data associated with the control. (Inherited from Menu.)

Protected methodCloneMenuCopies the Menu that is passed as a parameter to the current Menu. (Inherited from Menu.)
Protected methodCreateMenuHandleCreates a new handle to the Menu. (Inherited from Menu.)
Public methodCreateObjRefCreates an object that contains all the relevant information required to generate a proxy used to communicate with a remote object. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Public methodDispose()Releases all resources used by the Component. (Inherited from Component.)
Protected methodDispose(Boolean)Disposes of the resources, other than memory, used by the Menu. (Inherited from Menu.)
Public methodEquals(Object)Determines whether the specified Object is equal to the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodFinalizeReleases unmanaged resources and performs other cleanup operations before the Component is reclaimed by garbage collection. (Inherited from Component.)
Public methodFindMenuItemGets the MenuItem that contains the value specified. (Inherited from Menu.)
Protected methodFindMergePositionReturns the position at which a menu item should be inserted into the menu. (Inherited from Menu.)
Public methodGetContextMenuGets the ContextMenu that contains this menu. (Inherited from Menu.)
Public methodGetHashCodeServes as a hash function for a particular type. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodGetLifetimeServiceRetrieves the current lifetime service object that controls the lifetime policy for this instance. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Public methodGetMainMenuGets the MainMenu that contains this menu. (Inherited from Menu.)
Protected methodGetServiceReturns an object that represents a service provided by the Component or by its Container. (Inherited from Component.)
Public methodGetTypeGets the Type of the current instance. (Inherited from Object.)
Public methodInitializeLifetimeServiceObtains a lifetime service object to control the lifetime policy for this instance. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Protected methodMemberwiseClone()Creates a shallow copy of the current Object. (Inherited from Object.)
Protected methodMemberwiseClone(Boolean)Creates a shallow copy of the current MarshalByRefObject object. (Inherited from MarshalByRefObject.)
Public methodMergeMenuMerges the MenuItem objects of one menu with the current menu. (Inherited from Menu.)
Protected methodOnCollapseInfrastructure. Raises the Collapse event.
Protected methodOnPopupInfrastructure. Raises the Popup event
Protected methodProcessCmdKey(Message, Keys)Processes a command key. (Inherited from Menu.)
Protected methodProcessCmdKey(Message, Keys, Control)Processes a command key.
Public methodShow(Control, Point)Displays the shortcut menu at the specified position.
Public methodShow(Control, Point, LeftRightAlignment)Displays the shortcut menu at the specified position and with the specified alignment.
Public methodToStringReturns a String that represents the Menu control. (Inherited from Menu.)

Public eventCollapseOccurs when the shortcut menu collapses.
Public eventDisposedOccurs when the component is disposed by a call to the Dispose method. (Inherited from Component.)
Public eventPopupOccurs before the shortcut menu is displayed.

The ContextMenu class represents shortcut menus that can be displayed when the user clicks the right mouse button over a control or area of the form. Shortcut menus are typically used to combine different menu items from a MainMenu of a form that are useful for the user given the context of the application. For example, you can use a shortcut menu assigned to a TextBox control to provide menu items for changing the font of the text, finding text within the control, or Clipboard features for copying and pasting text. You can also display new MenuItem objects in a shortcut menu that are not located within a MainMenu to provide situation specific commands that are not appropriate for the MainMenu to display.

Typically, a shortcut menu is displayed when a user clicks the right mouse button over a control or the form itself. Visible controls and Form have a ContextMenu property that binds the ContextMenu class to the control that displays the shortcut menu. More than one control can use a ContextMenu. You can use the SourceControl property to determine which control last displayed the shortcut menu in order to perform tasks specific to the control or to modify the shortcut menu displayed for the control.

You might want to know when the shortcut menu is being displayed in order to set check marks, disable items, and perform other menu tasks before the menu is displayed to the user. You can handle the Popup event to determine when the shortcut menu is being displayed.


In order to reuse MenuItem objects that are displayed in a MainMenu for use in a ContextMenu, you must create a copy of the menu using the CloneMenu method of the MenuItem class. You can also merge menu items and their submenu items into a single MenuItem object using the MergeMenu method of the MenuItem class.

The following code example creates an event handler for the Popup event of the ContextMenu. The code in the event handler determines which of two controls a PictureBox named pictureBox1 and a TextBox named textBox1 is the control displaying the shortcut menu. Depending on which control caused the ContextMenu to display its shortcut menu, the control adds the appropriate MenuItem objects to the ContextMenu. This example requires that you have an instance of the ContextMenu class, named contextMenu1, defined within the form. This example also requires that you have a TextBox and PictureBox added to a form and that the ContextMenu property of these controls is set to contextMenu1.

private void MyPopupEventHandler(System.Object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    // Define the MenuItem objects to display for the TextBox.
    MenuItem menuItem1 = new MenuItem("&Copy");
    MenuItem menuItem2 = new MenuItem("&Find and Replace");
    // Define the MenuItem object to display for the PictureBox.
    MenuItem menuItem3 = new MenuItem("C&hange Picture");

    // Clear all previously added MenuItems.

    if(contextMenu1.SourceControl == textBox1)
       // Add MenuItems to display for the TextBox.
    else if(contextMenu1.SourceControl == pictureBox1)
       // Add the MenuItem to display for the PictureBox.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

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

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