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Layout tag: item

Create a menu item inside a menu, toolbar or context menu.

A menu item is a clickable element in a menu. It is used for a choice the user can select. Inside of a menu bar, selecting a menu item will fire a control and close the menu bar. You can also use menu items inside of [toolbars[( and context menus.


A menu item is supposed to be the “last choice” in a menu: clicking on it doesn’t open another menu (use the menu tag to create sub-menus). You need to specify the item name in the tag’s data:

  <menu name=File>

In this example, if the user opens the menu bar, clicks on “File”, the “Quit” menu item will be displayed. Clicking on it fires a control and close the menu bar.

See toolbar and context for examples on how to use menu items in these widgets.


Name Required Description Example
id No The menu item identifier (ID). If not set, use the item name set in data. <item id=quit>

This tag has no required attribute, although its data must contain the text to be displayed. It is also recommended to set an id even though the shortened name (only lowercase letters will be used, spaces turned into the underscore) will be given if the id attribute is not set.

<item>Quit the app</item>

(This will set a menu item with id of “quit_the_app”.)

The data is a translatable field. If internationalization is set, it should contain the ytranslate path to the name and will be translated in the proper language as needed. Note that in this case, you absolutely need to set a proper ID, otherwise control methods won’t be easy to bind to the menu item.

Note about identifiers

It is not uncommon to have an application with several buttons, menu items, items inside toolbars or context menus, doing the same thing. You might consider the download example that shows and solves this issue: a button is present at the bottom of the window to add a new file to the download list. Clicking it opens a dialog to enter the file name and URL. But you can also open the File menu in the menu bar and select the Add… button. Both do the same thing. What then? Do they share the same identifier?

No, they can’t. An identifier is unique. Two widgets in your application can’t share the same identifier. In this case, we bind them to different IDs, create a control method to intercept one, then an alias, to say that clicking on the other will do the same thing.

class DownloadExample(Window):

    layout = mark("""
      <window title="Blind User Interface - downloading">
          <menu name="File">
            <item id=add_file>Add a file...</item>

        <!-- ... -->
        <button x=4 y=5>Add</button>

    # So the menu item to add has ID "add_file" while the Add button
    # on the window has ID "add" (we didn't change it)
    def on_add(self):
        """The 'add' button was clicked."""
        # ...
    on_add_file = on_add

So if you have several buttons and menu items doing the same thing, be careful to give them different IDs, then, if necessary, bind to the same control using aliases.


An item tag will be turned into an Item widget. This widget has no data for the time being.


Control Method Description
click on_click The menu item is being clicked on. This is an implicit control for menu items.
class MainWindow(Window):

    def on_click_quit(self):
        """Click on the 'quit' menu item
        (you could have called your method on_quit, the
        "click" control type is implicit for menu items).
        print("Clicked on the menu item...")
        self.close() ```