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ContextMenuStripEx is a separate control in Essential Tools with advanced features embedded in it. It can be dragged and dropped from the toolbox.

Getting Started

This section describes how to design a ContextMenuStripEx control in a Windows Forms application and overview of its basic functionalities.

Assembly deployment

Refer control dependencies section to get the list of assemblies or NuGet package needs to be added as reference to use the control in any application.

Find more details regarding how to install the nuget packages in windows form application in the below link:

How to install nuget packages

Through Designer

Drag and drop a ContextMenuStripEx to the form. Click “Type Here” to add the items. This displays a collection of menu items, using which user can add the menu items.

Items can also be added using ContextMenuStripEx.Items property or Edit Items… command in the property grid.

Through Code

The below code snippets adds a ToolStripItem (Cut) to the menu list.

private Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.ContextMenuStripEx EditorContextMenuStripEx;
private System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripMenuItem toolStripMenuItem1;

this.EditorContextMenuStripEx = new Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.ContextMenuStripEx();

//Assigning the ContextMenuStrip created
this.richTextBox1.ContextMenuStrip = this.EditorContextMenuStripEx;

//Adding a menu item
this.EditorContextMenuStripEx.Items.AddRange(new System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem[] {this.toolStripMenuItem1});
this.toolStripMenuItem1.Image = ((System.Drawing.Image)(resources.GetObject("toolStripMenuItem1.Image")));
this.toolStripMenuItem1.Text = "Cu&t";
Private EditorContextMenuStripEx As Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.ContextMenuStripEx
Private toolStripMenuItem1 As System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripMenuItem

Me.EditorContextMenuStripEx = New Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.ContextMenuStripEx

'Assigning the ContextMenuStrip created
Me.richTextBox1.ContextMenuStrip = Me.EditorContextMenuStripEx

'Adding a menu item
Me.EditorContextMenuStripEx.Items.AddRange(New System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem() {Me.toolStripMenuItem1})
Me.toolStripMenuItem1.Image = CType((Resources.GetObject("toolStripMenuItem1.Image")), System.Drawing.Image)
Me.toolStripMenuItem1.Text = "Cu&t"

Associating the ContextMenuStrip to a Control

This can be easily done by assigning the ContextMenuStripEx to the Control.ContextMenuStrip property.

this.richTextBox1.ContextMenuStrip = this.contextMenuStripEx1;
Me.richTextBox1.ContextMenuStrip = Me.contextMenuStripEx1

At Run time, when the user right clicks the control, menu items will be displayed like the below image.

Various Features and Customization options are discussed in the following topics.

  • Style Settings
  • Foreground Settings
  • Margin and Shadow Settings
  • RunTime Features
  • RTL Support
  • ToolStripItems

Style Settings

Visual Style

ContextMenuStripEx supports visual style such as Office2016White,Office2016Black,Office2016DarkGray,Office2016Colorful,Default and Metro

This Style can be set using Style property


Office12ToolStripRenderer Class

Using the Office12ToolStripRenderer Class, the appearance of the ContextMenuStripEx can be changed.

Use the below code snippet for implementing this feature.

private Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.Office12ColorTable ct;
private Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.Office12ToolStripRenderer m_Office12Renderer;

ct =new Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.Office12ColorTable();
ct.UseSystemColors = false;
m_Office12Renderer = new Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.Office12ToolStripRenderer(ct);
Private ct As Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.Office12ColorTable
Private m_Office12Renderer As Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.Office12ToolStripRenderer

ct = New Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.Office12ColorTable 
ct.UseSystemColors = False 
m_Office12Renderer = New Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools.Office12ToolStripRenderer(ct)

In the form load event, add one of the below code to change the appearance.

//Sets Office Black Color
this.contextMenuStripEx1.Renderer = new Office12ToolStripRenderer(new OfficeBlack ());

//Sets Office Blue Color
this.contextMenuStripEx1.Renderer = new Office12ToolStripRenderer(new OfficeBlue ());

//Sets Office Silver Color
this.contextMenuStripEx1.Renderer = new Office12ToolStripRenderer(new Office12ColorTable());
'Sets Office Black Color
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.Renderer = New Office12ToolStripRenderer(New OfficeBlack) 

'Sets Office Blue Color
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.Renderer = New Office12ToolStripRenderer(New OfficeBlue)

'Sets Office Silver Color
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.Renderer = New Office12ToolStripRenderer(New Office12ColorTable())

Rendering Mode

Rendering mode of the ContextMenuStripEx can be controlled using the below property.

Property Description
RenderMode Represents the painting style applied to the control. The different styles supported are,Professional,System and ManagerRenderMode.
this.contextMenuStripEx1.RenderMode = System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripRenderMode.Professional;
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.RenderMode = System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripRenderMode.Professional

Foreground Settings of ContextMenuStripEx


Caption for the context menu can be specified in Text property.

this.ContextMenuStripEx.Text = "Context Menu Items";
Me.ContextMenuStripEx.Text = "Context Menu Items"

The font style for the menu items can be controlled using Font property.

this.contextMenuStripEx2.Font = new System.Drawing.Font("Courier New", 9F, System.Drawing.FontStyle.Regular);
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.Font = New System.Drawing.Font("Courier New", 9F, System.Drawing.FontStyle.Regular)


The font face of the Caption alone changes based on this Font property.

Margin and Shadow Settings

Shadow Settings

Shadow for the context menu drop down is controlled using the below property.

Property Description
DropShadowEnabled Shows or hides three dimensional shadow for the context menu.
this.contextMenuStripEx1.DropShadowEnabled = true;
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.DropShadowEnabled = True

The below image displays a shadow for the context menu strip.

Margin Settings

We can set margins for the context menu using the below properties.

Property Description
ShowCheckMargin Shows or hides check margin on the left side of the context menu.
ShowImageMargin Shows or hides the image margin on the left side of the context menu.
ImageScaling Sets the size of images on items.
this.contextMenuStripEx1.ShowCheckMargin = true;
this.contextMenuStripEx1.ShowImageMargin = true;
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.ShowCheckMargin = True
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.ShowImageMargin = True


The check functionality can be enabled using the Checked property and check state can be provided using CheckedState property available for individual menu item, through Items Collection Editor.

RunTime Features

The menu items can display tooltips while mouse hovering, by enabling ShowItemToolTips property.

this.contextMenuStripEx1.ShowItemToolTips = true;
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.ShowItemToolTips = True

Auto Closing At Runtime

AutoClose property of the ContextMenuStrip control, when set to true, will close the context menu dropdown when the user clicks any item. If this is not enabled, the menu items will not be closed even after user actions.

Property Description
AutoClose Specifies whether the context menu closes for any user actions at runtime.


- Closes the context menu dropdown, when the user selects or clicks any item.


- The context menu drop down will not be closed for any user actions.
this.contextMenuStripEx1.AutoClose = true;
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.AutoClose = True

RTL Support

ContextMenuStripEx has RTL support which can be enabled using RightToLeft property.

this.contextMenuStripEx1.RightToLeft = Yes;
Me.contextMenuStripEx1.RightToLeft = Yes


The following are the ToolStripItems which can be added as menu items to the ContextMenuStripEx control.

ToolStripItem - MenuItem

The ToolStripMenuItem supports all the general properties of a ToolStripItems. This section will walk you through the unique properties with their description for the ToolStripMenuItem.

Property Description
Checked Indicates whether the item is in the checked state. _Note: This will be displayed only if ContextMenuStripEx.ShowCheckMargin property is set to true_ .
Image Sets the image for the menu item. This image will be displayed only when the ContextMenuStripEx.ShowImageMargin is true and DisplayStyle is Image or ImageAndText.
CheckedState Specifies the check state of the item. They can be Checked, Unchecked or Indeterminate.
ShowShortcut keys Indicates whether a shortcut key should be displayed in the menu item. User can access the particular menu item using this shortcut key specified in ShortcutKeys property.
ShortcutKeys The shortcut key to be displayed for a menu item.
ShortcutKeyDisplayString You can modify the ShortcutKey string, that is set, using the ShortcutKeyDisplayString property.
AutoToolTip When set to true, will display the text set in the Text property as the item's tooltip.When set to false, will display the text set in the ToolTipText property.
ToolTipText Sets the text for the tooltip when AutoToolTip is set to false.
DropDown Specifies the ToolStripDropDown to be shown when the item is clicked.
DropDownItems Invokes the Items Collection Editor and lets you add ToolStripItems to be displayed when the item is clicked.
this.pasteToolStripMenuItem.ShortcutKeys = ((System.Windows.Forms.Keys)((System.Windows.Forms.Keys.Control | System.Windows.Forms.Keys.B)));
this.fontToolStripMenuItem.DropDownItems.AddRange(new System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem[] {
this.hyperlinkToolStripMenuItem.ShortcutKeys = ((System.Windows.Forms.Keys)((System.Windows.Forms.Keys.Control | System.Windows.Forms.Keys.C)));
Me.pasteToolStripMenuItem.ShortcutKeys = DirectCast(((System.Windows.Forms.Keys.Control Or System.Windows.Forms.Keys.B)), System.Windows.Forms.Keys) 
Me.fontToolStripMenuItem.DropDownItems.AddRange(New System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem() {Me.toolStripMenuItem1, Me.toolStripMenuItem2}) 
Me.hyperlinkToolStripMenuItem.ShortcutKeys = DirectCast(((System.Windows.Forms.Keys.Control Or System.Windows.Forms.Keys.C)), System.Windows.Forms.Keys)

ToolStripItem - ComboBox

This section lists the unique properties of a ToolStripComboBox item and their description.

Property Description
FlatStyle Specifies the style of display of the control. The options are,Flat,Popup,Standard andSystem.
Items Invokes String Collection Editor which lets you add strings list to be displayed in the combobox.
MaxDropDownItems Sets the maximum number of strings that should be displayed in the dropdown.
MaxLength Specifies the maximum characters that can be entered into the combobox.
DropDownHeight Sets the height for the DropDown.
DropDownWidth Sets the width for the DropDown.
IntegralHeight Indicates whether the combobox should resize to avoid showing partial items.
Sorted Specifies whether the dropdown list should be sorted.
AutoCompleteCustomSource Represents the custom source of string collection for the autocomplete feature, when AutoCompleteSource property is set to CustomSource.
AutoCompleteSource Represents the source of strings used for autocompletion. The sources can be,FileSystem,AllSystemSources (Default),AllUrl,CustomSource,FileSystemDirectories,HistoryList,ListItems,RecentlyUsedList andNone.
AutoCompleteMode Indicates text completion behavior of the combo box. The modes are,


- Displays the drop down list associated with the EditControl. This dropdown list is populated with one or more suggested completion strings,


- Appends the reminder of the most likely candidate string to the existing character, highlighting the appended character, and


- Displays the drop down, also appends the highlighted string.

AutoComplete Feature

this.toolStripComboBox1.AutoCompleteCustomSource.AddRange(new string[] {"Customization", "Custom Properties", "Custom Source", "Custom Items", "Properties", "IssuesList"});
this.toolStripComboBox1.AutoCompleteMode = System.Windows.Forms.AutoCompleteMode.Suggest;
this.toolStripComboBox1.AutoCompleteSource = System.Windows.Forms.AutoCompleteSource.CustomSource;
Me.toolStripComboBox1.AutoCompleteCustomSource.AddRange(New String() {"Customization", "Custom Properties", "Custom Source", "Custom Items", "Properties", "IssuesList"}) 
Me.toolStripComboBox1.AutoCompleteMode = System.Windows.Forms.AutoCompleteMode.Suggest 
Me.toolStripComboBox1.AutoCompleteSource = System.Windows.Forms.AutoCompleteSource.CustomSource


This section lists the unique properties of a ToolStripSeparator and their description.

Property Description
BackColor Sets the back color for the separator.
ForeColor Sets the fore color for the separator.
AutoSize Determines whether the item should automatically size based on its image and text.
Visible Sets the visibility of the separator.


This section lists the unique properties of a ToolStripTextBox item and their description.

Property Description
BorderStyle Sets the border style for the textbox. The styles available are,FixedSingle andFixed3D (Default).
Lines Lets you open a String Collection Editor, using which multiline text can be entered.
Text Specifies the text to be displayed on the item.
TextBoxTextAlign Specifies the alignment of the text inside the textbox.
AcceptsReturn Indicates if return characters are accepted as input.
AcceptsTab Indicates if tab characters are accepted as input.
CharacterCasing Indicates if the characters should be Normal or in Upper Case or in Lower Case.
HideSelection Indicates whether the selection should be hidden when the control loses focus.
MaxLength Maximum number of characters that can be entered into the control.
ReadOnly Indicates whether the text in the textbox is read-only.