「FVWM」 – Menu


Before a menu can be opened, it has to be populated with menu items using the AddToMenu command and bound to
a key or mouse button with the Key, PointerKey or Mouse command (there are many other ways to invoke a menu
too). This is usually done in the configuration file.

Fvwm menus are extremely configurable in look and feel. Even the slightest nuances can be changed to the
user’s liking, including the menu item fonts, the background, delays before popping up sub menus, generating
menus dynamically and many other features. Please refer to the MenuStyle command to learn more.

菜单的种类(Types of Menus)

In fvwm there are four slightly different types of menus:

Popup menus can appear everywhere on the screen on their own or attached to a part of a window. The
Popup command opens popup menus. If the popup menu was invoked with a mouse button held down, it is
closed when the button is released. The item under the pointer is then activated and the associated
action is executed.

Menu is a very similar command, but the menus it opens are slightly less transient. When invoked by
clicking a mouse button, it stays open and can be navigated with no button held. But if it is invoked
by a button press followed by mouse motion, it behaves exactly like a popup menu.

Tear off menus or Pin up menus are menus from either of the above two commands that have been “torn
off” their original context and pinned on the desktop like a normal window. They are created from
other menus by certain key presses or mouse sequences or with the TearMenuOff command from inside a

Sub menus are menus inside menus. When a menu item that has the Popup command as its action is
selected, the named menu is opened as an inferior menu to the parent. Any type of menu can have sub

菜单的组成(Menu Anatomy)

Menus consist of any number of titles which are inactive menu items that usually appear at the top of
the menu, normal items triggering various actions when selected, separator lines between the items,
tear off bars (a horizontal broken line) that tear off the menu when selected, and sub menu items
indicated with a triangle pointing left or right, depending on the direction in which the sub menu
appears. All the above menu items are optional.

Additionally, if the menu is too long to fit on the screen, the excess menu items are put in a
continuation menu and a sub menu with the string “More…” is placed at the bottom of the menu. The
“More…” string honors the locale settings.

Finally, there may be a picture running up either side of the menu (a “side bar”).

菜单导航操作(Menu Navigation)

Menus can be navigated either with the keyboard or with the mouse. Many people prefer to use the
mouse, but it can be rather tedious…. Once you get the hang of it, keyboard navigation can be much
faster. While fvwm displays a menu, it can do nothing else. For example, new windows do not appear
before the menu is closed. However, this is not exactly true for tear off menus. See the Tear Off
Menus section for details.

使用鼠标进行菜单操作(Mouse Navigation)

Moving the pointer over a menu selects the item below it. Normally this is indicated by a 3d border
around the item, but not all parts of a menu can be selected. Pressing any mouse button while a menu
is open by default activates the item below it. Items of a popup menu are also activated by releasing
a held mouse button. In case of an item that hides a sub menu, the sub menu is displayed if the
pointer hovers over the item long enough or moves close to the triangle indicating the sub menu. This
behaviour can be tuned with menu styles.

Scrolling a mouse wheel over a menu either wraps the pointer along the menu (default), scrolls the
menu under the pointer or act as if the menu was clicked depending on the MouseWheel menu style.

Clicking on a selected item activates it – what happens exactly depends on the type of the item.

Clicking on a title, a separator, the side bar, or outside the menu closes the menu (exception: tear
off menus can not be closed this way). Pressing mouse button 2 over a menu title or activating a tear
off bar creates a tear off menu from the current menu. Clicking on a normal menu item invokes the
command that is bound to it, and clicking on a sub menu item either closes all open menus and replaces
them with the sub menu or posts the menu (default).

Posting menus is meant to ease mouse navigation. Once a sub menu is posted, only items from that sub
menu can be selected. This can be very useful to navigate the menu if the pointer tends to stray off
the menu. To unpost the menu and revert back to normal operation, either click on the same sub menu
item or press any key.

使用键盘进行菜单操作(Keyboard Navigation)

Just like with mouse navigation, the item below the pointer is selected. This is achieved by warping
the pointer to the menu items when necessary. While a menu is open, all key presses are intercepted
by the menu. No other application can get keyboard input (although this is not the case for tear off

Items can be selected directly by pressing a hotkey that can be configured individually for each menu
item. The hotkey is indicated by underlining it in the menu item label. With the AutomaticHotkeys
menu style fvwm automatically assigns hotkeys to all menu items.

The most basic keys to navigate through menus are the cursor keys (move up or down one item, enter or
leave a sub menu), Space (activate item) and Escape (close menu). Numerous other keys can be used to
navigate through menus by default:

Enter, Return, Space activate the current item.

Escape, Delete, Ctrl-G exit the current sequence of menus or destroy a tear off menu.

J, N, Cursor-Down, Tab, Meta-Tab, Ctrl-F, move to the next item.

K, P, Cursor-Up, Shift-Tab, Shift-Meta-Tab, Ctrl-B, move to the prior item.

L, Cursor-Right, F enter a sub menu.

H, Cursor-Left, B return to the prior menu.

Ctrl-Cursor-Up, Ctrl-K Ctrl-P, Shift-Ctrl-Meta-Tab, Page-Up move up five items.

Ctrl-Cursor-Down, Ctrl-J Ctrl-N, Ctrl-Meta-Tab Page-Down move down five items.

Shift-P, Home, Shift-Cursor-Up, Ctrl-A move to the first item.

Shift-N, End, Shift-Cursor-Down, Ctrl-E move to the last item.

Meta-P, Meta-Cursor-Up, Ctrl-Cursor-Left, Shift-Ctrl-Tab, move up just below the next separator.

Meta-N, Meta-Cursor-Down, Ctrl-Cursor-Right, Ctrl-Tab, move down just below the next separator.

Insert opens the “More…” sub menu if any.

Backspace tears off the menu.

菜单绑定(Menu Bindings)

The keys and mouse buttons used to navigate the menu can be configured using the Key and Mouse
commands with the special context ‘M’, possible combined with ‘T’ for the menu title, ‘I’ for other
menu items, ‘S’ for any border or sidepic, ‘[‘ for left border including a left sidepic, ‘]’ for right
border including a right sidepic, ‘-‘ for top border, ‘_’ for bottom border. The menu context uses
its own set of actions that can be bound to keys and mouse buttons. These are MenuClose,
MenuCloseAndExec, MenuEnterContinuation, MenuEnterSubmenu, MenuLeaveSubmenu, MenuMoveCursor,
MenuCursorLeft, MenuCursorRight, MenuSelectItem, MenuScroll and MenuTearOff.

It is not possible to override the key Escape with no modifiers for closing the menu. Neither is it
possible to undefine mouse button 1, the arrow keys or the enter key for minimal navigation.

MenuClose exits from the current sequence of menus or destroys a tear off menu.

MenuCloseAndExec exits from the current sequence of menus or destroys a tear off menu and executes the
rest of the line as a command.

MenuEnterContinuation opens the “More…” sub menu if any.

MenuEnterSubmenu enters a sub menu.

MenuLeaveSubmenu returns to the prior menu.

MenuMoveCursor n [m] moves the selection to another item. If the first argument is zero the second
argument specifies an absolute item in the menu to move the pointer to. Negative items are counted
from the end of the menu. If the first argument is non-zero, the second argument must be omitted, and
the first argument specifies a relative change in the selected item. The positions may be suffixed
with a ‘s’ to indicate that the items should refer only to the first items after separators.

MenuCursorLeft enters a sub menu with the SubmenusLeft menu style, and returns to the prior menu with
the SubmenusRight menu style.

MenuCursorRight enters a sub menu with the SubmenusRight menu style, and returns to the prior menu
with the SubmenusLeft menu style.

MenuSelectItem triggers the action for the menu item.

MenuScroll n performs menu scrolling according to the MouseWheel menu style with n items. The
distance can be suffixed with an ‘s’ to indicate the items should refer only to the first items after

MenuTearOff turns a normal menu into a “torn off” menu. See Tear Off Menus for details.

菜单脱离(Tear Off Menus)

A tear off menu is any menu that has been “torn off” the window it was attached to and pinned to the
root window. There are three ways to tear off a menu: click on the menu title with mouse button 2,
press Backspace in the menu or activate its tear off bar (a horizontal bar with a broken line). Tear
off bars must be added to the menu as any other item by assigning them the command TearMenuOff.

The builtin tear off actions can be overridden by undefining the builtin menu actions bound to tear
off. To remove the builtin mouse button 2 binding, use:

Mouse 2 MT A –

and to remove the builtin backspace binding, use:

Key Backspace M A –

See the section Menu Bindings for details on how to assign other bindings for tear off.

Note that prior to fvwm 2.5.20 the tear off mouse bindings were redefined in different way, which no
longer work.

The window containing the menu is placed as any other window would be. If you find it confusing to
have your tear off menus appear at random positions on the screen, put this line in your configuration

Style fvwm_menu UsePPosition

To remove borders and buttons from a tear-off menu but keep the menu title, you can use

Style fvwm_menu !Button 0, !Button 1

Style fvwm_menu !Button 2, !Button 3

Style fvwm_menu !Button 4, !Button 5

Style fvwm_menu !Button 6, !Button 7

Style fvwm_menu !Button 8, !Button 9

Style fvwm_menu Title, HandleWidth 0

A tear off menu is a cross breeding between a window and a menu. The menu is swallowed by a window
and its title is stripped off and displayed in the window title. The main advantage is that the menu
becomes permanent – activating an item does not close the menu. Therefore, it can be used multiple
times without reopening it. To destroy such a menu, close its window or press the Escape key.

Tear off menus behave somewhat differently than normal menus and windows. They do not take the
keyboard focus, but while the pointer is over one of them, all key presses are sent to the menu.
Other fvwm key bindings are disabled as long as the pointer is inside the tear off menu or one of its
sub menus. When the pointer leaves this area, all sub menus are closed immediately. Note that the
window containing a tear off menu is never hilighted as if it had the focus.

A tear off menu is an independent copy of the menu it originated from. As such, it is not affected by
adding items to that menu or changing its menu style.

To create a tear off menu without opening the normal menu first, the option TearOffImmediately can be
added to the Menu or Popup command.

AddToMenu menu-name [menu-label action]

Begins or adds to a menu definition. Typically a menu definition looks like this:

AddToMenu Utilities Utilities Title

+ Xterm Exec exec xterm -e tcsh

+ Rxvt Exec exec rxvt

+ “Remote Logins” Popup Remote-Logins

+ Top Exec exec rxvt -T Top -n Top -e top

+ Calculator Exec exec xcalc

+ Xman Exec exec xman

+ Xmag Exec exec xmag

+ emacs Exec exec xemacs

+ Mail MailFunction xmh “-font fixed”

+ “” Nop

+ Modules Popup Module-Popup

+ “” Nop

+ Exit Fvwm Popup Quit-Verify

The menu could be invoked via

Mouse 1 R A Menu Utilities Nop


Mouse 1 R A Popup Utilities

There is no end-of-menu symbol. Menus do not have to be defined in a contiguous region of the config
file. The quoted (or first word) portion in the above examples is the menu label, which appears in
the menu when the user pops it up. The remaining portion is an fvwm command which is executed if the
user selects that menu item. An empty menu-label (“”) and the Nop function are used to insert a
separator into the menu.

The keywords DynamicPopUpAction and DynamicPopDownAction have a special meaning when used as the name
of a menu item. The action following the keyword is executed whenever the menu is popped up or down.
This way you can implement dynamic menus. It is even possible to destroy itself with DestroyMenu and
the rebuild from scratch. When the menu has been destroyed (unless you used the recreate option when
destroying the menu), do not forget to add the dynamic action again.

Note: Do not trigger actions that require user interaction. They may fail and may screw up your
menus. See the Silent command.

Do not issue MenuStyle commands as dynamic menu actions. Chances are good that this crashes fvwm.

There are several configurable scripts installed together with fvwm for automatic menu generation.
They have their own man pages. Some of them, specifically fvwm-menu-directory and fvwm-menu-desktop,
may be used with DynamicPopupAction to create a directory listing or GNOME/KDE application listing.

Example (File browser):

# You can find the shell script fvwm_make_browse_menu.sh

# in the utils/ directory of the distribution.

AddToMenu BrowseMenu

+ DynamicPopupAction PipeRead \

‘fvwm_make_browse_menu.sh BrowseMenu’

Example (Picture menu):

# Build a menu of all .jpg files in

# $HOME/Pictures

AddToMenu JpgMenu foo title

+ DynamicPopupAction Function MakeJpgMenu

AddToFunc MakeJpgMenu

+ I DestroyMenu recreate JpgMenu

+ I AddToMenu JpgMenu Pictures Title

+ I PipeRead ‘for i in $HOME/Pictures/*.jpg; \

do echo AddToMenu JpgMenu “`basename $i`” Exec xv $i; done’

The keyword MissingSubmenuFunction has a similar meaning. It is executed whenever you try to pop up a
sub menu that does not exist. With this function you can define and destroy menus on the fly. You
can use any command after the keyword, but if the name of an item (that is a submenu) defined with
AddToFunc follows it, fvwm executes this command:

Function <function-name> <submenu-name>

i.e. the name is passed to the function as its first argument and can be referred to with “$0”.

The fvwm-menu-directory script mentioned above may be used with MissingSubmenuFunction to create an up
to date recursive directory listing.


# There is another shell script fvwm_make_directory_menu.sh

# in the utils/ directory of the distribution. To use it,

# define this function in your configuration file:

DestroyFunc MakeMissingDirectoryMenu

AddToFunc MakeMissingDirectoryMenu

+ I PipeRead fvwm_make_directory_menu.sh $0

DestroyMenu SomeMenu

AddToMenu SomeMenu

+ MissingSubmenuFunction MakeMissingDirectoryMenu

+ “Root directory” Popup /

This is another implementation of the file browser that uses sub menus for subdirectories.

Titles can be used within the menu. If you add the option top behind the keyword Title, the title is
added to the top of the menu. If there was a title already, it is overwritten.

AddToMenu Utilities Tools Title top

All text up to the first Tab in the menu label is aligned to the left side of the menu, all text right
of the first Tab is aligned to the left in a second column and all text thereafter is placed right
aligned in the third column. All other Tab s are replaced by spaces. Note that you can change this
format with the ItemFormat option of the MenuStyle command.

If the menu-label contains an ampersand (‘&’), the next character is taken as a hot-key for the menu
item. Hot-keys are underlined in the label. To get a literal ‘&’, insert “&&”. Pressing the hot-key
moves through the list of menu items with this hot-key or selects an item that is the only one with
this hot-key.

If the menu-label contains a sub-string which is set off by stars, then the text between the stars is
expected to be the name of an image file to insert in the menu. To get a literal ‘*’, insert “”.**
For example

+ Calculator*xcalc.xpm* Exec exec xcalc

inserts a menu item labeled “Calculator” with a picture of a calculator above it. The following:

+ *xcalc.xpm* Exec exec xcalc

Omits the “Calculator” label, but leaves the picture.

If the menu-label contains a sub-string which is set off by percent signs, then the text between the
percent signs is expected to be the name of image file (a so called mini icon to insert to the left of
the menu label. A second mini icon that is drawn at the right side of the menu can be given in the
same way. To get a literal ‘%’, insert “%%”. For example

+ Calculator%xcalc.xpm% Exec exec xcalc

inserts a menu item labeled “Calculator” with a picture of a calculator to the left. The following:

+ %xcalc.xpm% Exec exec xcalc

Omits the “Calculator” label, but leaves the picture. The pictures used with this feature should be
small (perhaps 16×16).

If the menu-name (not the label) contains a sub-string which is set off by at signs (‘@’), then the
text between them is expected to be the name of an image file to draw along the left side of the menu
(a side pixmap). You may want to use the SidePic option of the MenuStyle command instead. To get a
literal ‘@’, insert “@@”. For example

creates a menu with a picture in its bottom left corner.

If the menu-name also contains a sub-string surrounded by ‘^’s, then the text between ‘^’s is expected
to be the name of an X11 color and the column containing the side picture is colored with that color.
You can set this color for a menu style using the SideColor option of the MenuStyle command. To get a
literal ‘^’, insert “^^”. Example:

AddToMenu StartMenu@linux-menu.xpm@^blue^

creates a menu with a picture in its bottom left corner and colors with blue the region of the menu
containing the picture.

In all the above cases, the name of the resulting menu is name specified, stripped of the substrings
between the various delimiters.

ChangeMenuStyle menustyle menu …

Changes the menu style of menu to menustyle. You may specify more than one menu in each call of ChangeMenuStyle.

CopyMenuStyle orig-menustyle dest-menustyle

Copy orig-menustyle to dest-menustyle, where orig-menustyle is an existing menu style. If the menu style dest_menustyle does not exist, then it is created.

DestroyMenu [recreate] menu

Deletes a menu, so that subsequent references to it are no longer valid. You can use this to change
the contents of a menu during an fvwm session. The menu can be rebuilt using AddToMenu. The optional
parameter recreate tells fvwm not to throw away the menu completely but to throw away all the menu
items (including the title).

DestroyMenu Utilities

DestroyMenuStyle menustyle

Deletes the menu style named menustyle and changes all menus using this style to the default style,
you cannot destroy the default menu style.

DestroyMenuStyle pixmap1

Menu menu-name [position] [double-click-action]

Causes a previously defined menu to be popped up in a sticky manner. That is, if the user invokes the
menu with a click action instead of a drag action, the menu stays up. The command double-click-action
is invoked if the user double-clicks a button (or hits the key rapidly twice if the menu is bound to a
key) when bringing up the menu. If the double click action is not specified, double clicking on the
menu does nothing. However, if the menu begins with a menu item (i.e. not with a title or a
separator) and the double click action is not given, double clicking invokes the first item of the
menu (but only if the pointer really was over the item).

The pointer is warped to where it was when the menu was invoked if it was both invoked and closed with
a keystroke.

The position arguments allow placement of the menu somewhere on the screen, for example centered on
the visible screen or above a title bar. Basically it works like this: you specify a
context-rectangle and an offset to this rectangle by which the upper left corner of the menu is moved
from the upper left corner of the rectangle. The position arguments consist of several parts:

[context-rectangle] x y [special-options]

The context-rectangle can be one of:


the root window of the current screen.


the root window of the whole Xinerama screen. Equivalent to “root” when Xinerama is not used.


a 1×1 rectangle at the mouse position.


the frame of the context window.


the inside of the context window.


the title of the context window or icon.


button #n of the context window.


the icon of the context window.


the current menu.


the current menu item.


the current window, menu or icon.


whatever widget the pointer is on (e.g. a corner of a window or the root window).

Rectangle <geometry>

the rectangle defined by <geometry> in X geometry format. Width and height default to 1 if


If the context-rectangle is omitted or illegal (e.g. “item” on a window), “Mouse” is the default.
Note that not all of these make sense under all circumstances (e.g. “Icon” if the pointer is on a

The offset values x and y specify how far the menu is moved from its default position. By default,
the numeric value given is interpreted as a percentage of the context rectangle’s width (height), but
with a trailing ‘m’ the menu’s width (height) is used instead. Furthermore a trailing ‘p’ changes the
interpretation to mean pixels.

Instead of a single value you can use a list of values. All additional numbers after the first one
are separated from their predecessor by their sign. Do not use any other separators.

If x or y are prefixed with “‘o<number>” where <number> is an integer, the menu and the rectangle are
moved to overlap at the specified position before any other offsets are applied. The menu and the
rectangle are placed so that the pixel at <number> percent of the rectangle’s width/height is right
over the pixel at <number> percent of the menu’s width/height. So “o0” means that the top/left
borders of the menu and the rectangle overlap, with “o100” it’s the bottom/right borders and if you
use “o50” they are centered upon each other (try it and you will see it is much simpler than this
description). The default is “o0”. The prefix “o<number>” is an abbreviation for

A prefix of ‘c’ is equivalent to “o50”. Examples:

# window list in the middle of the screen

WindowList Root c c

# menu to the left of a window

Menu name window -100m c+0

# popup menu 8 pixels above the mouse pointer

Popup name mouse c -100m-8p

# somewhere on the screen

Menu name rectangle 512×384+1+1 +0 +0

# centered vertically around a menu item

AddToMenu foobar-menu

+ “first item” Nop

+ “special item” Popup “another menu” item +100 c

+ “last item” Nop

# above the first menu item

AddToMenu foobar-menu

+ “first item” Popup “another menu” item +0 -100m

Note that you can put a sub menu far off the current menu so you could not reach it with the mouse
without leaving the menu. If the pointer leaves the current menu in the general direction of the sub
menu the menu stays up.

The special-options:

To create a tear off menu without opening the normal menu, add the option TearOffImmediately.
Normally the menu opens in normal state for a split second before being torn off. As tearing off
places the menu like any other window, a position should be specified explicitly:

# Forbid fvwm to place the menu window

Style <name of menu> UsePPosition

# Menu at top left corner of screen

Menu Root 0p 0p TearOffImmediately

The Animated and Mwm or Win menu styles may move a menu somewhere else on the screen. If you do not
want this you can add Fixed as an option. This might happen for example if you want the menu always
in the top right corner of the screen.

Where do you want a menu to appear when you click on its menu item? The default is to place the title
under the cursor, but if you want it where the position arguments say, use the SelectInPlace option.
If you want the pointer on the title of the menu, use SelectWarp too. Note that these options apply
only if the PopupAsRootMenu MenuStyle option is used.

The pointer is warped to the title of a sub menu whenever the pointer would be on an item when the sub
menu is popped up (fvwm menu style) or never warped to the title at all (Mwm or Win menu styles). You
can force (forbid) warping whenever the sub menu is opened with the WarpTitle (NoWarp) option.

Note that the special-options do work with a normal menu that has no other position arguments.

MenuStyle stylename [options]

Sets a new menu style or changes a previously defined style. The stylename is the style name; if it
contains spaces or tabs it has to be quoted. The name “*” is reserved for the default menu style.
The default menu style is used for every menu-like object (e.g. the window created by the WindowList
command) that had not be assigned a style using the ChangeMenuStyle. See also DestroyMenuStyle. When
using monochrome color options are ignored.

options is a comma separated list containing some of the keywords Fvwm / Mwm / Win, BorderWidth,
Foreground, Background, Greyed, HilightBack / !HilightBack, HilightTitleBack, ActiveFore /
!ActiveFore, MenuColorset, ActiveColorset, GreyedColorset, TitleColorset, Hilight3DThick /
Hilight3DThin / Hilight3DOff, Hilight3DThickness, Animation / !Animation, Font, TitleFont, MenuFace,
PopupDelay, PopupOffset, TitleWarp / !TitleWarp, TitleUnderlines0 / TitleUnderlines1 /
TitleUnderlines2, SeparatorsLong / SeparatorsShort, TrianglesSolid / TrianglesRelief, PopupImmediately
/ PopupDelayed, PopdownImmediately / PopdownDelayed, PopupActiveArea, DoubleClickTime, SidePic,
SideColor, PopupAsRootMenu / PopupAsSubmenu / PopupIgnore / PopupClose, RemoveSubmenus / HoldSubmenus,
SubmenusRight / SubmenusLeft, SelectOnRelease, ItemFormat, VerticalItemSpacing, VerticalMargins,
VerticalTitleSpacing, AutomaticHotkeys / !AutomaticHotkeys, UniqueHotkeyActivatesImmediate /
!UniqueHotkeyActivatesImmediate, MouseWheel, ScrollOffPage / !ScrollOffPage, TrianglesUseFore /

In the above list some options are listed as option pairs or triples with a ‘/’ in between. These
options exclude each other. All paired options can be negated to have the effect of the counterpart
option by prefixing ! to the option.

Some options are now negated by prefixing ! to the option. This is the preferred form for all such
options. The other negative forms are now deprecated and will be removed in the future.

This is a list of MenuStyle deprecated negative options: ActiveForeOff, AnimationOff,
AutomaticHotkeysOff, HilightBackOff, TitleWarpOff

Fvwm, Mwm, Win reset all options to the style with the same name in former versions of fvwm. The
default for new menu styles is Fvwm style. These options override all others except Foreground,
Background, Greyed, HilightBack, ActiveFore and PopupDelay, so they should be used only as the first
option specified for a menu style or to reset the style to defined behavior. The same effect can be
created by setting all the other options one by one.

Mwm and Win style menus popup sub menus automatically. Win menus indicate the current menu item by
changing the background to dark. Fvwm sub menus overlap the parent menu, Mwm and Win style menus
never overlap the parent menu.

Fvwm style is equivalent to !HilightBack, Hilight3DThin, !ActiveFore, !Animation, Font, MenuFace,
PopupOffset 0 67, TitleWarp, TitleUnderlines1, SeparatorsShort, TrianglesRelief, PopupDelayed,
PopdownDelayed, PopupDelay 150, PopdownDelay 150, PopupAsSubmenu, HoldSubmenus, SubmenusRight,
BorderWidth 2, !AutomaticHotkeys, UniqueHotkeyActivatesImmediate, PopupActiveArea 75.

Mwm style is equivalent to !HilightBack, Hilight3DThick, !ActiveFore, !Animation, Font, MenuFace,
PopupOffset -3 100, !TitleWarp, TitleUnderlines2, SeparatorsLong, TrianglesRelief, PopupImmediately,
PopdownDelayed, PopdownDelay 150, PopupAsSubmenu, HoldSubmenus, SubmenusRight, BorderWidth 2,
UniqueHotkeyActivatesImmediate, !AutomaticHotkeys, PopupActiveArea 75.

Win style is equivalent to HilightBack, Hilight3DOff, ActiveFore, !Animation, Font, MenuFace,
PopupOffset -5 100, !TitleWarp, TitleUnderlines1, SeparatorsShort, TrianglesSolid, PopupImmediately,
PopdownDelayed, PopdownDelay 150, PopupAsSubmenu, RemoveSubmenus, SubmenusRight, BorderWidth 2,
UniqueHotkeyActivatesImmediate, !AutomaticHotkeys, PopupActiveArea 75.

BorderWidth takes the thickness of the border around the menus in pixels. It may be zero to 50
pixels. The default is 2. Using an illegal value reverts the border width to the default.

Foreground and Background may have a color name as an argument. This color is used for menu text or
the menu’s background. You can omit the color name to reset these colors to the built-in default.

Greyed may have a color name as an argument. This color is the one used to draw a menu-selection
which is prohibited (or not recommended) by the Mwm hints which an application has specified. If the
color is omitted the color of greyed menu entries is based on the background color of the menu.

HilightBack and !HilightBack switch hilighting the background of the selected menu item on and off. A
specific background color may be used by providing the color name as an argument to HilightBack. If
you use this option without an argument the color is based on the menu’s background color. The
ActiveColorset option overrides the specified color. If the colorset has a non solid background it is
used for the hilighting.

HilightTitleBack switches hilighting the background of menu titles on. If a TitleColorset was used,
the background colour is taken from there. Otherwise the color is based on the menu’s background
color. If the colorset has a non solid background it is used for the hilighting.

ActiveFore and !ActiveFore switch hilighting the foreground of the selected menu item on and off. A
specific foreground color may be used by providing the color name as an argument to ActiveFore.
Omitting the color turns hilighting on when an ActiveColorset is used. ActiveFore turns off
hilighting the foreground completely. The ActiveColorset option overrides the specified color.

MenuColorset controls if a colorset is used instead of the Foreground, Background and MenuFace menu
styles. If the MenuColorset keyword is followed by a number equal to zero or greater, this number is
taken as the number of the colorset to use. If the number is omitted, the colorset is switched off
and the regular menu styles are used again. The foreground and background colors of the menu items
are replaced by the colors from the colorset. If the colorset has a pixmap defined, this pixmap is
used as the background of the menu. Note that the MenuFace menu style has been optimized for memory
consumption and may use less memory than the background from a colorset. The shape mask from the
colorset is used to shape the menu. Please refer to the Colorsets section for details about

ActiveColorset works exactly like MenuColorset, but the foreground from the colorset replaces the
color given with the ActiveFore menu style and the colorset’s background color replaces the color
given with the HilightBack command (to turn on background hilighting you have to use the HilightBack
menu style too). If specified, the hilight and shadow colors from the colorset are used too. The
pixmap and shape mask from the colorset are not used. Hilighting the background or foreground can be
turned off individually with the !ActiveFore or !HilightBack menu styles.

GreyedColorset works exactly like MenuColorset, but the foreground from the colorset replaces the
color given with the Greyed menu style. No other parts of the colorset are used.

TitleColorset works exactly like MenuColorset, but is used only for menu titles.

Hilight3DThick, Hilight3DThin and Hilight3DOff determine if the selected menu item is hilighted with a
3D relief. Thick reliefs are two pixels wide, thin reliefs are one pixel wide.

Hilight3DThickness takes one numeric argument that may be between -50 and +50 pixels. With negative
values the menu item gets a pressed in look. The above three commands are equivalent to a thickness
of 2, 1 and 0.

Animation and !Animation turn menu animation on or off. When animation is on, sub menus that do not
fit on the screen cause the parent menu to be shifted to the left so the sub menu can be seen.

Font and TitleFont take a font name as an argument. If a font by this name exists it is used for the
text of all menu items. If it does not exist or if the name is left blank the built-in default is
used. If a TitleFont is given, it is used for all menu titles instead of the normal font.

MenuFace enforces a fancy background upon the menus. You can use the same options for MenuFace as for
the ButtonStyle. See description of ButtonStyle command and the Color Gradients sections for more
information. If you use MenuFace without arguments the style is reverted back to normal.

Some examples of MenuFaces are:

MenuFace DGradient 128 2 lightgrey 50 blue 50 white

MenuFace TiledPixmap texture10.xpm

MenuFace HGradient 128 2 Red 40 Maroon 60 White

MenuFace Solid Maroon

Note: The gradient styles H, V, B and D are optimized for high speed and low memory consumption in
menus. This is not the case for all the other gradient styles. They may be slow and consume huge
amounts of memory, so if you encounter performance problems with them you may be better off by not
using them. To improve performance you can try one or all of the following:

Turn hilighting of the active menu item other than foreground color off:

MenuStyle <style> Hilight3DOff, !HilightBack

MenuStyle <style> ActiveFore <preferred color>

Make sure sub menus do not overlap the parent menu. This can prevent menus being redrawn every time a
sub menu pops up or down.

MenuStyle <style> PopupOffset 1 100

Run your X server with backing storage. If your X Server is started with the -bs option, turn it off.
If not try the -wm and +bs options:

startx — -wm +bs

You may have to adapt this example to your system (e.g. if you use xinit to start X).

PopupDelay requires one numeric argument. This value is the delay in milliseconds before a sub menu
is popped up when the pointer moves over a menu item that has a sub menu. If the value is zero no
automatic pop up is done. If the argument is omitted the built-in default is used. Note that the
popup delay has no effect if the PopupImmediately option is used since sub menus pop up immediately

PopupImmediately makes menu items with sub menus pop up it up as soon as the pointer enters the item.
The PopupDelay option is ignored then. If PopupDelayed is used fvwm looks at the PopupDelay option if
or when this automatic popup happens.

PopdownDelay works exactly like PopupDelay but determines the timeout of the PopupDelayed style.

PopdownImmediately makes sub menus vanish as soon as the pointer leaves the sub menu and the
correspondent item in the parent menu. With the opposite option PopdownDelayed the sub menu only pops
down after the time specified with the PopdownDelay option. This comes handy when the pointer often
strays off the menu item when trying to move into the sub menu. Whenever there is a conflict between
the PopupImmediately, PopupDelayed, PopupDelay styles and the PopdownImmediately, PopdownDelayed,
PopdownDelay styles, the Popup… styles win when using mouse navigation and the Popdown… styles
win when navigating with the keyboard.

PopupOffset requires two integer arguments. Both values affect where sub menus are placed relative to
the parent menu. If both values are zero, the left edge of the sub menu overlaps the left edge of the
parent menu. If the first value is non-zero the sub menu is shifted that many pixels to the right (or
left if negative). If the second value is non-zero the menu is moved by that many percent of the
parent menu’s width to the right or left.

PopupActiveArea requires an integer value between 51 and 100. Normally, when the pointer is over a
menu item with a sub menu and the pointer enters the area that starts at 75% of the menu width, the
sub menu is shown immediately. This percentage can be changed with PopupActiveArea. Setting this
value to 100 disables this kind of automatic popups altogether. The default value is restored if no
or an illegal value is given.

TitleWarp and !TitleWarp affect if the pointer warps to the menu title when a sub menu is opened or
not. Note that regardless of this setting the pointer is not warped if the menu does not pop up under
the pointer.

TitleUnderlines0, TitleUnderlines1 and TitleUnderlines2 specify how many lines are drawn below a menu

SeparatorsLong and SeparatorsShort set the length of menu separators. Long separators run from the
left edge all the way to the right edge. Short separators leave a few pixels to the edges of the

TrianglesSolid and TrianglesRelief affect how the small triangles for sub menus is drawn. Solid
triangles are filled with a color while relief triangles are hollow.

DoubleClickTime requires one numeric argument. This value is the time in milliseconds between two
mouse clicks in a menu to be considered as a double click. The default is 450 milliseconds. If the
argument is omitted the double click time is reset to this default.

SidePic takes the name of an image file as an argument. The picture is drawn along the left side of
the menu. The SidePic option can be overridden by a menu specific side pixmap (see AddToMenu). If
the file name is omitted an existing side pixmap is removed from the menu style.

SideColor takes the name of an X11 color as an argument. This color is used to color the column
containing the side picture (see above). The SideColor option can be overridden by a menu specific
side color (see AddToMenu). If the color name is omitted the side color option is switched off.

PopupAsRootMenu, PopupAsSubmenu, PopupIgnore and PopupClose change the behavior when you click on a
menu item that opens a sub menu. With PopupAsRootMenu the original menu is closed before the sub menu
appears, with PopupAsSubmenu it is not, so you can navigate back into the parent menu. Furthermore,
with PopupAsSubmenu the sub menu is held open (posted) regardless of where you move the mouse.
Depending on your menu style this may simplify navigating through the menu. Any keystroke while a
menu is posted reverts the menu back to the normal behavior. With PopupClose the menu is closed when
a sub menu item is activated, and the menu stays open if PopupIgnore is used (even if the menu was
invoked with the Popup command). PopupAsSubmenu is the default.

RemoveSubmenus instructs fvwm to remove sub menu when you move back into the parent menu. With
HoldSubmenus the sub menu remains visible. You probably want to use HoldSubmenus if you are using the
PopupDelayed style. RemoveSubmenus affects menu navigation with the keyboard.

SelectOnRelease takes an optional key name as an argument. If the given key is released in a menu
using this style, the current menu item is selected. This is intended for Alt-Tab WindowList
navigation. The key name is a standard X11 key name as defined in /usr/include/X11/keysymdef.h,
(without the XK_ prefix), or the keysym database /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/XKeysymDB. To disable this
behavior, omit the key name.

Note: Some X servers do not support KeyRelease events. SelectOnRelease does not work on such a

ItemFormat takes a special string as its argument that determines the layout of the menu items. Think
of the format string as if it were a menu item. All you have to do is tell fvwm where to place the
different parts of the menu item (i.e. the labels, the triangle denoting a sub menu, the mini icons
and the side pic) in the blank area. The string consists of spaces, Tab characters and formatting
directives beginning with ‘%’. Any illegal characters and formatting directives are silently ignored:

%l, %c and %r

Insert the next item label. Up to three labels can be used. The item column is left-aligned

(%l), centered (%c) or right-aligned (%r).


Inserts the mini icon.

%> and %<

Insert the sub menu triangle pointing either to the right (%>) or to the left (%<).


The first %| denotes the beginning of the area that is highlighted either with a background color

or a relief (or both). The second %| marks the end of this area. %| can be used up to twice in

the string. If you do not add one or both of them, fvwm sets the margins to the margins of the

whole item (not counting the side picture).


Places the side picture either at the beginning or the end of the menu. This directive may be

used only once and only as the first or last in the format string. If the %s is not at the

beginning of the string, menus are not drawn properly.

Space, Tab, %Space and %Tab

Add gap of one space, or a tab, using the width of the menu font. When using a tab, the size of

the gap can be one to 8 spaces since the tab position is a multiple of 8 from the edge of the

menu. The whole string must be quoted if spaces or tabs are used.


Like Space and Tab %p inserts an empty area into the item, but with better control of its size

(see below).

You can define an additional space before and after each of the objects like this:


This means: if the object is defined in the menu (e.g. if it is %s and you use a side picture, or it
is %l for the third column and there are items defined that actually have a third column), then add
left pixels before the object and right pixels after it. You may leave out the left or the .right
parts if you do not need them. All values up to the screen width are allowed. Even negative values
can be used with care. The p may be replaced with any other formatting directives described above.

Note: Only items defined in the format string are visible in the menus. So if you do not put a %s in
there you do not see a side picture, even if one is specified.

Note: The SubmenusLeft style changes the default ItemFormat string, but if it was set manually it is
not modified.

Note: If any unformatted title of the menu is wider than the widest menu item, the spaces between the
different parts of the menu items are enlarged to match the width of the title. Leading left aligned
objects in the format string (%l, %i, %<, first %|) stick to the left edge of the menu and trailing
right aligned objects (%r, %i, %>, second %|) stick to the right edge. The gaps between the remaining
items are enlarged equally.


MenuStyle * ItemFormat “%.4s%.1|%.5i%.5l%.5l%.5r%.5i%2.3>%1|”

Is the default string used by fvwm: (side picture + 4 pixels gap) (beginning of the hilighted area + 1
pixel gap) (mini icon + 5p) (first column left aligned + 5p) (second column left aligned + 5p) (third
column right aligned + 5p) (second mini icon + 5p) (2p + sub menu triangle + 3p) (1p + end of
hilighted area).

MenuStyle * ItemFormat “%.1|%3.2<%5i%5l%5l%5r%5i%1|%4s”

Is used by fvwm with the SubmenusLeft option below.

VerticalItemSpacing and VerticalTitleSpacing control the vertical spacing of menu items and titles
like ItemFormat controls the horizontal spacing. Both take two numeric arguments that may range from
-100 to +100. The first is the gap in pixels above a normal menu item (or a menu title), the second
is the gap in pixels below it. Negative numbers do not make much sense and may screw up the menu
completely. If no arguments are given or the given arguments are invalid, the built-in defaults are
used: one pixel above the item or title and two below.

VerticalMargins can be used to add some padding at the top and bottom of menus. It takes two numeric
arguments that must be positive integers (or zero). If the number of arguments or its values are
incorrect, fvwm defaults both to 0, which means no padding at all. If the values are correct, the
first one is used for the top margin, and the second one is used for the bottom margin.

SubmenusLeft mirrors the menu layout and behavior. Sub menus pop up to the left, the sub menu
triangle is drawn left and the mini icon and side picture are drawn at the right side of the menu.
The default is SubmenusRight. The position hints of a menu are also affected by this setting, i.e.
position hints using item or menu as context rectangle and position hints using m offsets.

AutomaticHotkeys and !AutomaticHotkeys control the menu’s ability to automatically provide hot-keys on
the first character of each menu item’s label. This behavior is always overridden if an explicit
hot-key is assigned in the AddToMenu command.

UniqueHotkeyActivatesImmediate and !UniqueHotkeyActivatesImmediate controls how menu items are invoked
when used with hotkeys. By default, if a given menu entry only has one completeable match for a given
hotkey, the action for that menu entry is invoked and the menu is closed. This is due to the
UniqueHotkeyActivatesImmediate option. However, the menu can be told to remain open, waiting for the
user to invoke the selected item instead when there is only one matched item for a given hotkey, by
using the !UniqueHotkeyActivatesImmediate option.

MouseWheel controls the ability to scroll the menu using a mouse wheel. It takes one argument, that
can be one of ScrollsPointer, ScrollsMenu, ScrollsMenuBackwards or ActivatesItem. ScrollsPointer
makes the mouse wheel scroll the pointer over a menu. This is the default. ScrollsMenu and
ScrollsMenuBackwards scroll the menu beneath the pointer. ActivatesItem disables scrolling by mouse
wheel and makes the use of a mouse wheel act as if the menu was clicked. If no argument is supplied
the default setting is restored.

ScrollOffPage allows a menu to be scrolled out of the visible area if MouseWheel is set to ScrollsMenu
or ScrollsMenuBackwards. This is the default. The opposite, !ScrollOffPage disables this behaviour.

TrianglesUseFore draws sub menu triangles with the foreground color of the menu colorset (normally
drawn with the hilight color). !TrianglesUseFore disables this behaviour.


MenuStyle * Mwm

MenuStyle * Foreground Black, Background gray40

MenuStyle * Greyed gray70, ActiveFore White

MenuStyle * !HilightBack, Hilight3DOff

MenuStyle * Font lucidasanstypewriter-14

MenuStyle * MenuFace DGradient 64 darkgray MidnightBlue

MenuStyle red Mwm

MenuStyle red Foreground Yellow

MenuStyle red Background Maroon

MenuStyle red Greyed Red, ActiveFore Red

MenuStyle red !HilightBack, Hilight3DOff

MenuStyle red Font lucidasanstypewriter-12

MenuStyle red MenuFace DGradient 64 Red Black

Note that all style options could be placed on a single line for each style name.

MenuStyle forecolor backcolor shadecolor font style [anim]

This is the old syntax of the MenuStyle command. It is obsolete and may be removed in the future.
Please use the new syntax as described above.

Sets the menu style. When using monochrome the colors are ignored. The shadecolor is the one used to
draw a menu-selection which is prohibited (or not recommended) by the Mwm hints which an application
has specified. The style option is either Fvwm, Mwm or Win, which changes the appearance and
operation of the menus.

Mwm and Win style menus popup sub menus automatically. Win menus indicate the current menu item by
changing the background to black. Fvwm sub menus overlap the parent menu, Mwm and Win style menus
never overlap the parent menu.

When the anim option is given, sub menus that do not fit on the screen cause the parent menu to be
shifted to the left so the sub menu can be seen. See also SetAnimation command.

Popup PopupName [position] [default-action]

This command has two purposes: to bind a menu to a key or mouse button, and to bind a sub menu into a
menu. The formats for the two purposes differ slightly. The position arguments are the same as for
Menu. The command default-action is invoked if the user clicks a button to invoke the menu and
releases it immediately again (or hits the key rapidly twice if the menu is bound to a key). If the
default action is not specified, double clicking on the menu does nothing. However, if the menu
begins with a menu item (i.e. not with a title or a separator) and the default action is not given,
double clicking invokes the first item of the menu (but only if the pointer really was over the item).

To bind a previously defined pop-up menu to a key or mouse button:

The following example binds mouse buttons 2 and 3 to a pop-up called “Window Ops”. The menu pops up
if the buttons 2 or 3 are pressed in the window frame, side-bar, or title-bar, with no modifiers (none
of shift, control, or meta).

Mouse 2 FST N Popup “Window Ops”

Mouse 3 FST N Popup “Window Ops”

Pop-ups can be bound to keys through the use of the Key command. Pop-ups can be operated without
using the mouse by binding to keys and operating via the up arrow, down arrow, and enter keys.

To bind a previously defined pop-up menu to another menu, for use as a sub menu:

The following example defines a sub menu “Quit-Verify” and binds it into a main menu, called

AddToMenu Quit-Verify

+ “Really Quit Fvwm?” Title

+ “Yes, Really Quit” Quit

+ “Restart Fvwm” Restart

+ “Restart Fvwm 1.xx” Restart fvwm1 -s

+ “” Nop

+ “No, Don’t Quit” Nop

AddToMenu RootMenu “Root Menu” Title

+ “Open XTerm Window” Popup NewWindowMenu

+ “Login as Root” Exec exec xterm -T Root -n Root -e su –

+ “Login as Anyone” Popup AnyoneMenu

+ “Remote Hosts” Popup HostMenu

+ “” Nop

+ “X utilities” Popup Xutils

+ “” Nop

+ “Fvwm Modules” Popup Module-Popup

+ “Fvwm Window Ops” Popup Window-Ops

+ “” Nop

+ “Previous Focus” Prev (AcceptsFocus) Focus

+ “Next Focus” Next (AcceptsFocus) Focus

+ “” Nop

+ “Refresh screen” Refresh

+ “” Nop

+ “Reset X defaults” Exec xrdb -load \
+ “” Nop

+ “” Nop

+ Quit Popup Quit-Verify

Popup differs from Menu in that pop-ups do not stay up if the user simply clicks. These are
popup-menus, which are a little hard on the wrist. Menu menus stay up on a click action. See the
Menu command for an explanation of the interactive behavior of menus. A menu can be open up to ten
times at once, so a menu may even use itself or any of its predecessors as a sub menu.


When assigned to a menu item, it inserts a tear off bar into the menu (a horizontal broken line).
Activating that item tears off the menu. If the menu item has a label, it is shown instead of the
broken line. If used outside menus, this command does nothing. Examples:

AddToMenu WindowMenu

+ I “” TearMenuOff

AddToMenu RootMenu

+ I “click here to tear me off” TearMenuOff


Does nothing This is used to insert a title line in a popup or menu.