CreateMenu() creates a new menu and returns the handle.


HMENU WINAPI CreateMenu();



Return value

Handle to a newly created menu (HMENU).


Appends a new item to the end of the specified menu bar, drop-down menu, submenu, or shortcut menu. You can use this function to specify the content, appearance, and behavior of the menu item.


        HMENU hMenu,
        UINT uFlags,
        UINT_PTR uIDNewItem,
        LPCTSTR lpNewItem


  • hMenu (HMENU) A handle to the menu bar, drop-down menu, submenu, or shortcut menu to be changed.
  • uFlags (UINT) Controls the appearance and behavior of the new menu item. This parameter can be a combination of the following values. Value Meaning MF_BITMAP, MF_CHECKED, MF_DISABLED, MF_ENABLED, MF_GRAYED, MF_MENUBARBREAK, MF_MENUBREAK, MF_OWNERDRAW, MF_POPUP, MF_SEPARATOR, MF_STRING,MF_UNCHECKED
  • uIDNewItem (UINT_PTR) The identifier of the new menu item or, if the uFlags parameter is set to MF_POPUP, a handle to the drop-down menu or submenu.
  • lpNewItem (LPCTSTR) The content of the new menu item. The interpretation of lpNewItem depends on whether the uFlags parameter includes the following values. MF_BITMAP, MF_OWNERDRAW, MF_STRING

Return value

If the function succeeds, the return value is nonzero. If the function fails, the return value is zero/FALSE. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.

CreateMenu AppendMenu Demo Application screen shot

#include <windows.h>
#define IDM_FILE_NEW 1000
#define IDM_FILE_OPEN 1001
#define IDM_FILE_CLOSE 1002
#define IDM_FILE_EXIT 1003
#define IDM_HELP_ABOUT 1004

                         UINT message, 
                         WPARAM wParam,
                         LPARAM lParam);

int APIENTRY WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance,
                     HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,
                     LPSTR     lpCmdLine,
                     int       nCmdShow)
  MSG msg;
  HWND hWnd;
  HMENU hMenu;

  ZeroMemory(&wc, sizeof(WNDCLASS));           = CS_HREDRAW | CS_VREDRAW;
  wc.lpfnWndProc     = (WNDPROC)WndProc;
  wc.hInstance       = hInstance;
  wc.hCursor         = LoadCursor(NULL, IDC_ARROW);
  wc.hbrBackground   = (HBRUSH)(COLOR_BACKGROUND);
  wc.lpszClassName   = (LPCTSTR)"MyDynMenuClass";


   hWnd = CreateWindow("MyDynMenuClass", "Dynamic Menu", WS_OVERLAPPEDWINDOW,

  ShowWindow(hWnd, nCmdShow);

  while (GetMessage(&msg, NULL, 0, 0)) 
  return 0;

HMENU hMainMenu;
HMENU hFileMenu;
HMENU hHelpMenu;

  int nSel;
  char * caption_menu[] = { "New", "Open", "Close", "Exit", "About"};
  char msg[50];
  switch (message) 
    case WM_CREATE:
      /* Creating our dynamic menu */
      hMainMenu = CreateMenu();
      hFileMenu = CreateMenu();
      hHelpMenu = CreateMenu();

      AppendMenu(hFileMenu, MF_BYPOSITION | MF_STRING, IDM_FILE_NEW, "New");
      AppendMenu(hFileMenu, MF_BYPOSITION | MF_STRING, IDM_FILE_OPEN, "Open");
      AppendMenu(hFileMenu, MF_BYPOSITION | MF_STRING, IDM_FILE_CLOSE, "Close");
      AppendMenu(hFileMenu, MF_BYPOSITION | MF_SEPARATOR, 0, NULL);
      AppendMenu(hFileMenu, MF_BYPOSITION | MF_STRING, IDM_FILE_EXIT, "Exit");

      AppendMenu(hHelpMenu, MF_BYPOSITION | MF_STRING,IDM_HELP_ABOUT, "About");
      AppendMenu(hMainMenu,MF_POPUP | MF_STRING,(UINT)hFileMenu, "File");
      AppendMenu(hMainMenu,MF_POPUP | MF_STRING,(UINT)hHelpMenu, "Help");
      SetMenu(hWnd, hMainMenu);
    case WM_COMMAND:
      if(wParam >= IDM_FILE_NEW && wParam <= IDM_HELP_ABOUT) {
        sprintf(msg, "Clicked on %s", caption_menu[wParam -IDM_FILE_NEW]);
        MessageBox(hWnd, msg, "Main Menu", MB_OK);
      DefWindowProc(hWnd, message, wParam, lParam);
    case WM_DESTROY:
      /* Free menu handles */
      return DefWindowProc(hWnd, message, wParam, lParam);
   return 0;

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