Menu Activation and Use

Under graphical environments such as Windows, once a menu is displayed the user can start selecting items from that menu. The mouse is typically used to make selections. (Under Windows, you can also select an item by pressing the <Alt> key or the <F10> key, and then the succession of key letters that form a path to the desired item.)

Note: By convention, the F10 key is used by Windows to activate program menus. This action is controlled automatically by the program. The configuration variable F10_IS_MENU allows you to set the runtime to handle the F10 key as a user-defined key. The default setting of F10-IS-MENU is 1 (on, true, yes). When you change the setting to 0 (off, false, no) you inhibit the menu activation capability.

On character-based environments, the user may activate the current menu by any of the following methods:

  1. The user may type a menu key. This is a key that is defined by your program to activate menus. You may define as many menu keys as you want. By default, there are no menu keys; your program must define them.
  2. For static menus, the user can click on the menu bar with the mouse. This assumes that the run-time contains mouse support.
  3. On terminals with an ANSI-style mouse (like xterm), the user can press <Alt> to activate the menu and then type a menu item's key letter to select the corresponding item.
Note: The only technique that is guaranteed to work for all machines is the menu key technique. Because of this, you should ensure that either your program or your COBOL configuration file defines one or more menu keys if you create a menu.