MenuItem.OwnerDraw Property


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Gets or sets a value indicating whether the code that you provide draws the menu item or Windows draws the menu item.

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

public bool OwnerDraw { get; set; }

Property Value

Type: System.Boolean

true if the menu item is to be drawn using code; false if the menu item is to be drawn by Windows. The default is false.

When the OwnerDraw property is set to true, you need to handle all drawing of the menu item. You can use this capability to create your own special menu displays.

The following code example demonstrates a menu with an owner-drawn menu item. This example set the OwnerDraw property and uses the AddHandler statement and the AddressOf operator to designate a delegate to handle the DrawItem event. To run the example, paste it in a form that imports the System, System.Windows.Forms, and System.Drawing namespaces. Call InitializeMenu from the form's constructor or Load method.

// Declare the MainMenu control.
internal System.Windows.Forms.MainMenu MainMenu1;

// Declare MenuItem2 as With-Events because it will be user drawn.
internal System.Windows.Forms.MenuItem MenuItem2;

private void InitializeMenu()

	// Create MenuItem1, which will be drawn by the operating system.
	MenuItem MenuItem1 = new MenuItem("Regular Menu Item");

	// Create MenuItem2.
	MenuItem2 = new MenuItem("Custom Menu Item");

	// Set OwnerDraw property to true. This requires handling the
	// DrawItem event for this menu item.
	MenuItem2.OwnerDraw = true;

	//Add the event-handler delegate to handle the DrawItem event.
       MenuItem2.DrawItem += new DrawItemEventHandler(DrawCustomMenuItem);

     // Add the items to the menu.
	MainMenu1 = new MainMenu(new MenuItem[]{MenuItem1, MenuItem2});																													  

	// Add the menu to the form.
	this.Menu = this.MainMenu1;

// Draw the custom menu item.
private void DrawCustomMenuItem(object sender, 
	DrawItemEventArgs e)

	// Cast the sender to MenuItem so you can access text property.
	MenuItem customItem = (MenuItem) sender;

	// Create a Brush and a Font to draw the MenuItem.
	System.Drawing.Brush aBrush = System.Drawing.Brushes.DarkMagenta;
	Font aFont = new Font("Garamond", 10, 
		FontStyle.Italic, GraphicsUnit.Point);

	// Get the size of the text to use later to draw an ellipse
	// around the item.
	SizeF stringSize = e.Graphics.MeasureString(
		customItem.Text, aFont);

	// Draw the item and then draw the ellipse.
	e.Graphics.DrawString(customItem.Text, aFont, 
		aBrush, e.Bounds.X, e.Bounds.Y);
	e.Graphics.DrawEllipse(new Pen(System.Drawing.Color.Black, 2),
		new Rectangle(e.Bounds.X, e.Bounds.Y, 

.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
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