How do I make ActionMenu's menu appear with one mouseclick of the button and disappear with a second consecutive click on the same button? I would like to be able to click on an ActionMenu in order to inspect the action labels and then click on the ActionMenu button again to close the menu. I believe this behavior is likely seen in many operating systems. This functionality doesn't appear to be obviously supported within Mathematica's control objects, but I hope I'm wrong.

As my first attempt to get this working, I tried the following hoping that the EventHandler would re-evaluate the ActionMenu and set it to the initial view with the menu not visible but this "hacky" attempt didn't yield anything. Here's the code:

EventHandler[ActionMenu["Print Factorials", {"4!" :> Print[4!], "7!" :> Print[7!], 
"10!" :> Print[10!]}], {"MouseClicked" :> ActionMenu[
"Print Factorials", {"4!" :> Print[4!], "7!" :> Print[7!], 
 "10!" :> Print[10!]}]}, PassEventsDown -> True]

I've also tried using Mouseover to achieve this idiomatic functionality without any luck. Again, here's the code in case this helps:

Style["Print Factorials", FontFamily -> "Arial", 
FontSize -> 12], {"4!" :> Print[4!], "7!" :> Print[7!], 
"10!" :> Print[10!]}, Appearance -> None, Enabled -> False], 
Style["Print Factorials", FontFamily -> "Arial", 
FontSize -> 12], {"4!" :> Print[4!], "7!" :> Print[7!], 
"10!" :> Print[10!]}, Appearance -> None]]
  • $\begingroup$ The default behaviour of ActionMenu seems to be exactly as you want it to... if you click on any menu item or outside of the menu, it disappears. $\endgroup$
    – Gerli
    Dec 4, 2015 at 11:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Gerli, create an ActionMenu and click the button to display the menu and then click the button again only to see that the menu remains displayed. I never allowed for clicking outside of the button in my question but yes, I realize that this does cause the menu to disappear. Now just try clicking the start menu in windows or a menu button on Linux and click once again on the same button to see the menu disappear. I really don't see how this could be any more clearly asked in the subject. $\endgroup$
    – rfrasier
    Dec 5, 2015 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ I voted to reopen, but you may want to add why you don't use a PopupMenu instead of an ActionMenu. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten 7.
    Dec 5, 2015 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ Using PopupView is another alternative. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten 7.
    Dec 5, 2015 at 11:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Karsten 7., thanks for reopening. The functionality of PopupMenu and PopupView satisfy my question regarding clicking to reveal and hide the menu, but my use-case constraint is to have an evaluation triggered by the selection of a menu item. For example, I'd like to have a new notebook opened with some operations done. This evaluation functionality didn't seem obvious to me in PopupMenu. $\endgroup$
    – rfrasier
    Dec 5, 2015 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


Since a PopupMenu exhibits a behavior you are after, let's adjust it to act like an ActionMenu:

myActionMenu[lbl_, actions_, opts___] := DynamicModule[{x = Unique[x]},
  PopupMenu[Dynamic[x, (# /. actions) &], First /@ actions, lbl, opts]

   "Print Factorials", 
   {"4!" :> Print[4!], "7!" :> Print[7!], "10!" :> Print[10!]}

A modified version of the solution provided by Kuba, that behaves like an ActionMenu with the option setting Method -> "Queued"

popupActionMenu[lbl_, actions_] := 
 DynamicModule[{x, trigger}, 
  Row[{PopupMenu[Dynamic[Refresh[x, TrackedSymbols :> {}], (trigger =.; trigger = #) &], 
     First /@ actions, lbl, BaseStyle -> "ActionMenu", Appearance -> "ActionMenu"], 
    DynamicWrapper["", Refresh[trigger /. actions, TrackedSymbols :> {trigger}], 
     SynchronousUpdating -> False]}]]

popupActionMenu["Print Factorials", 
  {"4!" :> Print[4!], "7!" :> (Pause[6]; Print[7!]), "10!" :> Print[10!]}]

The DynamicWrapper could be replaced with

Dynamic[trigger /. actions; "", TrackedSymbols :> {trigger}, SynchronousUpdating -> False]

A version based on PopupView

popupActionMenu[lbl_, actions_] := DynamicModule[{n = 1},
  PopupView[actions[[All, 1]], Dynamic[n, (actions[[#, 2]]) &], ActionMenu[lbl, {}]]]

popupActionMenu["Print Factorials", 
  {"4!" :> Print[4!], "7!" :> Print[7!], "10!" :> Print[10!]}]
  • $\begingroup$ It seems that initial assignment fixes first action problem. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Dec 6, 2015 at 9:20

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