Adding code to a VB.NET menu

This tutorial assumes that you have completed the previous one.

Stop your programme and return to the design environment. Click File in Design Time to see your drop down menu. You can double click an item to open up the code window. But don't do that yet.

Another way to get to the code for an object is this:

  • Press F7 on your keyboard to go to the code window (CTRL + ALT + 0 in version 2012/2013). If nothing happens, click View from the menu at the top of Visual Studio. Then select Code.
  • Click the arrow at the top, where it says Form1: (It will say General in earlier versions. Visual Studio 2015 will have an extra box on the left with the name of your project in it.)
  • From the drop down box, have a look at the list of items:

The code window for Form1

The Exit menu here is "ExitToolStripMenuItem". If you were to click that item, a code stub would open, ready for you to type your code.

However, "ExitToolStripMenuItem" is very difficult to remember. We can rename our menu items so that they are more descriptive. So do this:

  • Get back to your form by pressing Shift + F7 on your keyboard
  • Click the File menu to select it
  • Select your Exit (or your Quit) item (Careful not to click in the middle as this may open the code window.Click near the left edge somewhere.)
  • When you have the Exit item selected, look at the properties box on the right:

The properties box for the Exit item

  • Click inside the Name property
  • Change it to mnuExit (or mnuQuit)
  • Press your return key on your keyboard to confirm the change

Now press F7 (or CTRL + ALT + 0) again to bring the code window up. Click the drop down arrow of the General box, and you should see the new name appear (Notice that MenuItem6 has vanished):

The Exit item has been renamed

Click on your new mnuExit item.

Nothing will happen!

To jump straight to the code, you need to look at the drop down box opposite. It will probably say Declarations, or CheckStateChanged. Click the arrow and you'll see a new list:

Select Click from the Declarations section

The items in the Declarations box are called Events. The Event you want is the Click event. So select that one from the list (we'll cover Events in more depth later). When you select Click from the list, you are taken straight into the code for that event. It should be like this one:

The code stub for the Exit menu

Notice that it says mnuExit_Click.

Don't worry too much about what it all means; we'll get to that in a later section. What we want to do is add some of our own code, so that out Exit menu item actually does something.

There's only one line of code to add. It's this:

Me.Close( )

The word "Me" refers to the form. When your type the word Me, you'll see a list if items appear. Double click the word Close, then press your return key. Your code window should look like this:

The line Me.Close() has been added

To test out your new code, run your programme. Click your File menu, and then click the Exit item. Your form should close down, and you'll be returned to the design environment.


In the next part, we'll see how to add Sub menus.