Getting the JMenu object from the selected JMenuItem

Get the accessible parent from the accessibleContext.
Main.java:

import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
   
public class Main extends JFrame implements ActionListener {
   private JMenu menu1;
   private JMenu menu2;
 
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
 
      JMenuBar menuBar = new JMenuBar();
      menu1 = new JMenu("The weak sex");
      JMenuItem menuItem1 = new JMenuItem("male");
      menu2 = new JMenu("The strong sex");
      JMenuItem menuItem2 = new JMenuItem("female");
      menu1.add(menuItem1);
      menu2.add(menuItem2);
      menuBar.add(menu1);
      menuBar.add(menu2);
      menuItem1.addActionListener(this);
      menuItem2.addActionListener(this);
 
      this.setJMenuBar(menuBar); 
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      setSize(400, 400);
   }
 
   public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
      JMenuItem menuItem = (JMenuItem) ae.getSource();
      JMenu menu = (JMenu) menuItem.getAccessibleContext().getAccessibleParent();
      System.out.println("Selected menu: " + menu.getText());
   }
 
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}

Adding a general JComponent to a JMenu

Create your own version of the JComponent that you would like to add to your Menu and have it implement the methods of MenuElement. Here’s an example that shows a JMenu with a JTextField and a JSlider as its elements:

import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
   
public class Main extends JFrame {
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
 
      JMenuBar menuBar = new JMenuBar();
      JMenu menu = new JMenu("Menu");
      JMenuItem menuItem1 = new JMenuItem("item 1");
      JMenuItem menuItem2 = new JMenuItem("item 2");
      JMenuItemTextField menuItem3 = new JMenuItemTextField(20);
      JMenuItem menuItem4 = new JMenuItem("item 4");
      JMenuItemSlider menuItem5 = new JMenuItemSlider();
      menuItem5.setMajorTickSpacing(20);
      menuItem5.setMinorTickSpacing(5);
      menuItem5.setPaintTicks(true);
      JMenuItem menuItem6 = new JMenuItem("item 6");
 
      menu.add(menuItem1);
      menu.add(menuItem2);
      menu.add(menuItem3);
      menu.add(menuItem4);
      menu.add(menuItem5);
      menu.add(menuItem6);
 
      menuBar.add(menu);
 
      this.setJMenuBar(menuBar); 
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      setSize(400, 400);
   }
  
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}
 
class JMenuItemTextField extends JTextField implements MenuElement
{
   public JMenuItemTextField(int length) {
      super(length);
   }
 
   public Component getComponent() {
      return this;
   }
 
   public MenuElement[] getSubElements() {
      return null;
   }
 
   public void menuSelectionChanged(boolean changed) {
   }
 
   public void processKeyEvent(KeyEvent kevt, MenuElement[] me, MenuSelectionManager msm) {
   }
 
   public void processMouseEvent(MouseEvent mevt, MenuElement[] me, MenuSelectionManager msm) {
   }
}
 
class JMenuItemSlider extends JSlider implements MenuElement
{
   public JMenuItemSlider() {
      super();
   }
 
   public Component getComponent() {
      return this;
   }
 
   public MenuElement[] getSubElements() {
      return null;
   }
 
   public void menuSelectionChanged(boolean changed) {
   }
 
   public void processKeyEvent(KeyEvent kevt, MenuElement[] me, MenuSelectionManager msm) {
   }
 
   public void processMouseEvent(MouseEvent mevt, MenuElement[] me, MenuSelectionManager msm) {
   }
}

Disable the keyboard accellerator that has been assigned to a JMenuItem

Set the accelerator to null. This example assigns accelerators to the JMenuItems ‘male’ and ‘female’. Press CTRL-M and CTRL-F to invoke them. After 5 selections, the accelerators will be disabled.

Main.java:

import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
   
public class Main extends JFrame implements ActionListener {
   JMenuItem menuItem1;
   JMenuItem menuItem2;
 
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
 
      JMenuBar menuBar = new JMenuBar();
      JMenu menu = new JMenu("Sex");
      menuItem1 = new JMenuItem("male");
      menuItem2 = new JMenuItem("female");
 
      // add the MenuItems to the Menu 
      menu.add(menuItem1);
      menu.add(menuItem2);
      menuItem1.setAccelerator(KeyStroke.getKeyStroke('M', Event.CTRL_MASK));
      menuItem2.setAccelerator(KeyStroke.getKeyStroke('F', Event.CTRL_MASK));
 
      // listen for events on these MenuItems
      menuItem1.addActionListener(this);
      menuItem2.addActionListener(this);
 
      menuBar.add(menu);
 
      this.setJMenuBar(menuBar); 
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      setSize(400, 400);
   }
 
   private int count = 0;
   public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
      System.out.println(ae.getActionCommand());
 
      count++;
      if (count == 5) {
         System.out.println("now disabling accelerators");
 
         menuItem1.setAccelerator(null);
         menuItem2.setAccelerator(null);
      }
   }
 
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}

Changing the font of a JMenuItem

You can either embed HTML in the JMenuItem’s text, or you can call the method setFont.

Main.java:

import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
   
public class Main extends JFrame {
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
 
      JMenuBar menuBar = new JMenuBar();
      JMenu menu = new JMenu("Sex");
      JMenuItem menuItem1 = new JMenuItem("<html><font size=-1>male</font></html>");
      JMenuItem menuItem2 = new JMenuItem("<html><font size=+1>female</font></html>");
      JMenuItem menuItem3 = new JMenuItem("androgyne");
      menuItem3.setFont(new Font("Monospaced", Font.ITALIC, 36));
 
      // add the MenuItems to the Menu 
      menu.add(menuItem1);
      menu.add(menuItem2);
      menu.add(menuItem3);
 
      menuBar.add(menu);
 
      this.setJMenuBar(menuBar); 
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      setSize(400, 400);
   }
 
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}

Displaying the description of a JMenuItem in the statusbar when moving over it

Add a ChangeListener. Here’s an example:

Main.java:

import javax.swing.event.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
   
public class Main extends JFrame {
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new BorderLayout());
 
      JMenuBar menuBar = new JMenuBar();
      JMenu menu = new JMenu("Sex");
      JMenuItem menuItem1 = new JMenuItem("male");
      JMenuItem menuItem2 = new JMenuItem("female");
      JMenuItem menuItem3 = new JMenuItem("androgyne");
 
      // add the MenuItems to the Menu 
      menu.add(menuItem1);
      menu.add(menuItem2);
      menu.add(menuItem3);
 
      StatusBar statusBar = new StatusBar();
 
      new JMenuItemHelpText(menuItem1, "The weak sex", statusBar);
      new JMenuItemHelpText(menuItem2, "The strong sex", statusBar);
      new JMenuItemHelpText(menuItem3, "The average sex, I guess", statusBar);
 
      menuBar.add(menu);
 
      this.setJMenuBar(menuBar); 
      getContentPane().add(BorderLayout.SOUTH, statusBar);
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      setSize(400, 400);
   }
 
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}
 
class JMenuItemHelpText implements ChangeListener
{
   JMenuItem menuItem;
   String helpText;
   StatusBar statusBar;
 
   JMenuItemHelpText(JMenuItem menuItem, String helpText, StatusBar statusBar) {
      this.menuItem = menuItem;
      this.helpText = helpText;
      this.statusBar = statusBar;
      menuItem.addChangeListener(this);
   } 
 
   public void stateChanged(ChangeEvent evt)
   {
      if (menuItem.isArmed())
         statusBar.setStatus(helpText);
      else
         statusBar.setStatus("");
   }
}
 
class StatusBar extends JPanel
{
   private JLabel statusLabel;
 
   public StatusBar() {
      setLayout(new BorderLayout(2, 2));
      statusLabel = new JLabel("Ready");
      statusLabel.setBorder(BorderFactory.createLoweredBevelBorder());
      statusLabel.setForeground(Color.black);
 
      add(BorderLayout.CENTER, statusLabel);
       
      JLabel dummyLabel = new JLabel("       ");
      dummyLabel.setBorder(BorderFactory.createLoweredBevelBorder());
 
      add(BorderLayout.EAST, dummyLabel);
   }
 
   public void setStatus(String status) {
      if (status.equals("")) 
         statusLabel.setText("Ready");
      else
         statusLabel.setText(status);
   }
 
   public String getStatus() {
      return statusLabel.getText();
   }
}

Justifying the text on a JMenuItem

You have a number of functions:setHorizontalAlignment, setHorizontalTextPosition, setVerticalAlignment, setVerticalTextPosition. Look at the API docs for more information about their behaviour.

Main.java:

import javax.swing.event.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
   
public class Main extends JFrame {
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
 
      JMenuBar menuBar = new JMenuBar();
      JMenu menu = new JMenu("Sex");
      JMenuItem menuItem0 = new JMenuItem("NO ALIGNMENT");
      JMenuItem menuItem1 = new JMenuItem("CENTER");
      JMenuItem menuItem2 = new JMenuItem("LEFT");
      JMenuItem menuItem3 = new JMenuItem("RIGHT");
      JMenuItem menuItem4 = new JMenuItem("LEADING");
      JMenuItem menuItem5 = new JMenuItem("TRAILING");
 
      // add the MenuItems to the Menu 
      menu.add(menuItem0);
      menu.add(menuItem1);
      menu.add(menuItem2);
      menu.add(menuItem3);
      menu.add(menuItem4);
      menu.add(menuItem5);
   
      menuItem1.setHorizontalAlignment(SwingConstants.CENTER);
      menuItem2.setHorizontalAlignment(SwingConstants.LEFT);
      menuItem3.setHorizontalAlignment(SwingConstants.RIGHT);
      menuItem4.setHorizontalAlignment(SwingConstants.LEADING);
      menuItem5.setHorizontalAlignment(SwingConstants.TRAILING);
 
      menuBar.add(menu);
 
      this.setJMenuBar(menuBar); 
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      setSize(400, 400);
   }
 
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}

Dynamically removing a separator from a JMenu

Look in the JMenu API for the remove methods!

Main.java:

import javax.swing.event.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
   
public class Main extends JFrame {
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
 
      JMenuBar menuBar = new JMenuBar();
      // used in inner class, so final
      final JMenu menu = new JMenu("Sex");
      JMenuItem menuItem0 = new JMenuItem("female");
      JMenuItem menuItem1 = new JMenuItem("male");
      JMenuItem menuItem2 = new JMenuItem("androgyn");
 
      // add the MenuItems to the Menu 
      menu.add(menuItem0);
      menu.add(menuItem1);
 
      // used in inner class, so final
      final JSeparator jsep = new JSeparator();
      menu.add(jsep);
      menu.add(menuItem2);
   
      menuBar.add(menu);
 
      this.setJMenuBar(menuBar); 
      final JButton button = new JButton("remove menu separator");
      button.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
         public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
            menu.remove(jsep);
            button.setEnabled(false);
         }
      });
      getContentPane().add(button);
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      setSize(400, 400);
   }
 
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}

Aligning a ‘Help’ JMenu component to the right side of the JMenuBar

JMenuBar has a method called setHelpMenu but you’ll get a runtime error when you try to use it. A workaround is to use Box.createHorizontalGlue to create the necessary empty space between the last left-aligned menu and the help menu. For more information about BoxLayout and its static methods, check out the link below.

Main.java:

import javax.swing.event.*;
import javax.swing.text.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*; 
 
public class Main extends JFrame {
   public Main() {
      JMenu fileMenu = new JMenu("File");
      fileMenu.add(new JMenuItem("Open"));
      fileMenu.add(new JMenuItem("Save"));
 
      JMenu helpMenu = new JMenu("Help");
      helpMenu.add(new JMenuItem("Help Topics"));
      helpMenu.add(new JSeparator());
      helpMenu.add(new JMenuItem("About"));
 
      JMenuBar mb = new JMenuBar();
      mb.add(fileMenu);
      // following line of code gives a runtime exception:
      //        "setHelpMenu() not yet implemented"
      //mb.setHelpMenu(helpMenu);
 
      // workaround:
      mb.add(Box.createHorizontalGlue());
      mb.add(helpMenu);
      
      this.setJMenuBar(mb);
  
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent we) {
            System.exit(0);
         }
      });
   }
 
   public static void main(String []args) {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setSize(400, 400);
      main.setVisible(true);
   }
} 

Changing the colors of my JMenu and JMenuItems

Use setForeground and setBackground. You can change the default selection colors using the UIManager.

Main.java:

import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
    
public class Main extends JFrame {
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
  
      // change default selection colors
      UIManager.put("Menu.selectionBackground", 
             new javax.swing.plaf.ColorUIResource(Color.blue));
      UIManager.put("MenuItem.selectionBackground", 
             new javax.swing.plaf.ColorUIResource(Color.green));
 
      JMenuBar menuBar = new JMenuBar();
      JMenu menu = new JMenu("Sex");
      JMenuItem menuItem1 = new JMenuItem("male");
      JMenuItem menuItem2 = new JMenuItem("female");
      JMenuItem menuItem3 = new JMenuItem("androgyne");
 
      menuItem1.setBackground(Color.red);
      menuItem1.setForeground(Color.yellow);
      menuItem2.setBackground(Color.red);
      menuItem2.setForeground(Color.yellow);
      menuItem3.setBackground(Color.red);
      menuItem3.setForeground(Color.yellow);
  
      menu.setBackground(Color.white);
      menu.setForeground(Color.blue);
 
      // add the MenuItems to the Menu 
      menu.add(menuItem1);
      menu.add(menuItem2);
      menu.add(menuItem3);
  
      menuBar.add(menu);
  
      this.setJMenuBar(menuBar); 
  
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
  
      setSize(400, 400);
   }
  
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}