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Java Swing, 2nd Edition by Brian Cole, James Elliott, Marc Loy, Robert Eckstein, Dave Wood

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The JMenu Class

The JMenu class represents the anchored menus attached to a JMenuBar or another JMenu. Menus directly attached to a menu bar are called top-level menus. Submenus, on the other hand, are not attached to a menu bar but to a menu item that serves as its title. This menu item title is typically marked by a right arrow, indicating that its menu appears alongside the menu item if the user selects it. See Figure 14-11.

Top-level menu and submenu

Figure 14-11. Top-level menu and submenu

JMenu is a curious class. It contains a MenuUI delegate, but it uses a ButtonModel for its data model. To see why this is the case, it helps to visualize a menu as two components: a menu item and a pop-up menu. The menu item serves as the title. When it is pressed, it signals the pop-up menu to show itself either below or directly to the right of the menu item. JMenu actually extends the JMenuItem class, which makes it possible to implement the title portion of the menu. This, in effect, makes it a specialized button. On some platforms you can use the mnemonic property of the JMenuItem superclass to define a shortcut for the menu’s title and, consequently, the menu. In addition, you can use the enabled property of JMenuItem to disable the menu if desired.

As with pop-up menus, you can add or insert JMenuItem, Component, or Action objects in the pop-up portion of the menu by calling the add( ) and insert( ) methods. ...

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