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Re: How to make floating control elements?

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  • Subject: [mg104701] Re: [mg104671] How to make floating control elements?
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Sat, 7 Nov 2009 06:48:31 -0500 (EST)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

You seem to be asking, what are the component parts of PopupMenu/PopupView, and 
how can you access the floating window component.  In Mathematica, PopupMenu
(or, more technically, the PopupMenuBox, as PopupMenus are represented in the 
front end) is the most atomic part you can get to.  PopupView is a thin layer 
wrapping PopupMenu.

You don't explain what you're trying to do, and it's difficult for me to comment 
on alternative methods that might be available to you.  I will say that you
really can do quite a lot with PopupMenu and its close cousin, ActionMenu.

Alternatively, you could create a button which pops up a frameless notebook
window.  This would be sort of an extended version of how PopupWindow is 
implemented.  You'd probably find that you'll eventually run into some 
limitation where you can't do exactly what you want to do, but maybe not.

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Fri, 6 Nov 2009 05:18:03 -0500 (EST), Istv=E1n wrote:
> Dear Group,
> I would like to create a custom control, with a floating element, that
> appears if one of the buttons in the control is pushed. The floating
> box would be (technically) similar to the dropdown list of PopupView
> or PopupMenu, which appears without shifting things (e.g. other
> controls) below the popup control.
> I tried to figure out the low-level structure of the popup commands,
> but there's nothing in the about the floating component.
> I guess I can solve my problem just by using PopupView, but in this
> way I cannot fully customize the appearance and position of the
> dropdown box, and I still cannot create a standalone floating box (to
> link it to e.g. a custom graphics in EventHandler) as PopupView still
> has a button.
> Perhaps the option MenuAppearance is responsible for such things, but
> it is undocumented.
> Can anyone help on this?
> Istvan Zachar

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