Adding a Menu Item from Your Extension

This is the second post in the Writing your First Extension series. You can see the full article here: Writing Your First Extension.

Menu items are added via the IPN object provided at extension load time. You add menu items by providing an implementation of IMenuItems. Here is a very simple implementation supporting a single item:

[sourcecode language=”cpp”] class Menu : public extensions::IMenuItems { public: Menu() { memset(&item1, 0, sizeof(item1)); item1.Handler = &MyExtensionFunc; item1.Title = L”Hello World”; // item1.Type = extensions::miItem; // item1.UserData = 0; }

 * Get the number of MenuItem instances that can be retrieved.
virtual int GetItemCount() const
    return 1;

 * Get an individual MenuItem instance by index.
virtual extensions::MenuItem& GetItem(int index) const
    if (index == 0)
        return const_cast(item1);

private: extensions::MenuItem item1; }; [/sourcecode]

This very simple implementation adds a single menu item called “Hello World”. When the item is selected, the MyExtensionFunc method will be executed by PN.

It might seem like a fair bit of code to add a menu item, but in the next SDK version I’ll provide a general-purpose helper to make this easy. The reason for the interface is to make it easy for you to provide sub-menus. MenuItem instances can contain child items by changing Type to miSubItem and filling in the SubItems member with another instance implementing IMenuItems.

The handler method looks like this:

[sourcecode language=”cpp”] void MyExtensionFunc(extensions::cookie_t /cookie/) { g_PN->GetGlobalOutputWindow()->AddToolOutput(“Hello World!”); g_PN->ShowOutput(); } [/sourcecode]

Once you have your handler and IMenuItems implementation, you just need to tell PN about your items. In your init function you need something like this:

[sourcecode language=”cpp”] bool __stdcall pn_init_extension(int iface_version, extensions::IPN* pn) { if(iface_version != PN_EXT_IFACE_VERSION) return false;

g_PN = pn;

Menu menu;

return true; } [/sourcecode]

Now you have Programmer’s Notepad presenting your commands in the menu and can handle their selection. Next time we’ll look at the other events PN lets you attach to.