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Scrollable Menu Controls

So the complete inability to scroll a menu seemed a little weird to me, so I investigated and took a look into the mx.controls.Menu class. The answer to why the menus would never scroll is pretty obvious once you look at the code for the Menu control. The getter and setter for verticalScrollPolicy are these:

override public function get verticalScrollPolicy():String {
return ScrollPolicy.OFF;

override public function set verticalScrollPolicy(value:String):void {

So if you were to try to set the verticalScrollPolicy of a Menu to ScrollPolicy.ON or ScrollPolicy.AUTO it wouldn’t do anything, and the scrollbars would remain off. There are a few other pieces in the code for Menu that don’t allow scrollbars, particularly in the configureScrollBars() and measure() methods.

So that’s no good if you want to allow scrollbars on your menus. The solution? An extension of mx.controls.Menu that overrides these problematic parts of the code. Basically I re-instituted the normal functionality for the getter and setter for verticalScrollPolicy, changed the configureScrollBars() method to actually configure the scrolling, and then modified measure() to take the scrollbars and new height restriction into account. Then we’ve got a new ScrollableMenu class that will allow you to set the maxHeight property. If the menu goes beyond maxHeight then the scrollbars are added, just like a normal scrolling control.

I also created a class that extended the MenuBar class, so it would use my new ScrollableMenu instead of the normal Menu when it created the Menus for the MenuBar. I was able to keep this extension fairly short, mostly just with an override of getMenuAt() and a private menu event listener.

So com.dougmccune.controls.ScrollableMenuBar lets you use the MenuBar control and specify a maxHeight, which will put a height limitation on the menus that popup when you click a menu item.

The PopUpMenuButton class was trickier. I initially tried to do a simple extension and get it to use the ScrollableMenu class instead of the normal Menu class, but this didn’t work so well. This was one of those cases (I’ve encountered this quite a bit) where the class you’re extending has private functions and variables that you need access to in order to accomplish your goals. I really didn’t need to make many changes to PopUpMenuButton, but because of the structure of the class I simply wasn’t able to make a clean extension.

So instead of extending PopUpMenuButton I had to copy/paste the entire class into a new class, and make the changes I needed. I’ve had to do this quite a few times to get custom components that I need. It’s obviously not ideal, you end up bloating your code base, but sometimes that’s the only option. But in the end we have a ScrollablePopUpMenuButton class that allows us to specify a maxHeight and that height will apply to all menus and submenus.

I’ve included the full source of all of these classes and the example below. I documented the code pretty well, so hopefully you can figure it out by taking a look. I wasn’t planning on uploading this one to Adobe Exchange, it doesn’t seem quite “componenty” enough. But if someone from Adobe thinks it belongs on the exchange then I’ll upload it, let me know in the comments.

View the source. UPDATE: See the next post for the current source of the component.

Here’s the example:


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