Fanning Software Consulting

Adding Checkmarks Menu Selections

QUESTION: I would like to add a checkmark next to a pull-dowm menu selection to indicate the currently selected item. Is this possible in IDL?

ANSWER: Yes, it's possible as of IDL 5.6. In Windows, a checkmark is used as the indicator. In Motif, a selection box is used. You can create checkmarks on buttons that are part of a pull-down menu system or that are part of a context-sensitive menu system. The secret is to set the CHECKED_MENU keyword when you create the button widget. This will enable checkbox selection, although the button will not be displayed with a checkmark unless the button is specifically set. The button is set in the normal way with WIDGET_CONTROL and the SET_BUTTON keyword.

Here is a short example program.

   PRO Checkmarks_Events, event
         ; Get the current button selection.
      Widget_Control,, Get_UValue=currentSelection
         ; Unselect the old current button, and select the new
         ; current button. 
      Widget_Control, currentSelection, Set_Button=0
      Widget_Control,, Set_Button=1
         ; Update and store the current selection.
      currentSelection =
      Widget_Control,, Set_UValue=currentSelection
   END ;-----------------------------------------------------

   PRO Checkmarks

      ; Create the widgets. Set the CHECKED_MENU keyword on buttons
      ; that will allow checkmarks.
   tlb = Widget_Base( title = 'Checkmark Test Program', XOffset=50, YOffset=50)
   menuButton = Widget_Button(tlb, /Menu, Value='Pull-Down Menu', $
      Event_Pro='Pull_Down_Menu_Events', Scr_XSize=150)
   catID = Widget_Button(menuButton, Value='Cat', /Checked_Menu)
   dogID = Widget_Button(menuButton, Value='Dog', /Checked_Menu)
   coyoteID = Widget_Button(menuButton, Value='Coyote', /Checked_Menu)
   frogID = Widget_Button(menuButton, Value='Frog', /Checked_Menu)
      ; Save the current button so it can be stored internally in UVALUE.
   current = coyoteID
      ; Put a checkmark on the current button.
   Widget_Control, current, Set_Button=1
      ; Realize and run the program.
   Widget_Control, tlb, /Realize
   Widget_Control, tlb, Set_UValue=current
   XManager, 'Checkmarks', tlb, /No_Block


Running the program results in the look (on Windows) shown in the figure below.

A pull-down menu with the current selection indicated by a checkmark.

Ben Tupper provided a glimpse of what a checkmark looks like on a Macintosh computer in this figure. He recommends if you can't see the little dot by the "One" that you wash the donut greese off your monitor first.

A pull-down menu on a Macintosh computer with the current selection indicated by a checkmark.

Web Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming