Paul Andrew

Technical Product Manager for Office 365 at Microsoft

MDI Application in .NET with combining menus

MDI Application in .NET with combining menus

  • Comments 4

A user on my local .NET mailing list was having trouble with MDI child menus not combining, so today I've entered this simple sample from Ken Getz and Paul Sherrifs article on the subject.

The C# sample code is here.

http://www.winisp.net/home/blogpics/mdiapplication.zip

Is MDI Right?

Personally I like the UI paradigm of Microsoft Word the best.  It allowed you to have multiple disconnected windows that all know about each other allowing for easier navigation.  You are not constrained by the MDI parent but you can access other windows owned by the one application.  Anytime you get too many windows open on the screen though it becomes too hard to manage.  There's to many mouse movements and clicks involved in sorting through the task bar.  How to fix that I wonder like yoda?  Alt-tab also suffers when there are too many windows, I always hit tab one too many times and go past the window I need and then have to hit tab another 40 times to get back to the window I missed.

  • You can press Alt-Shift-Tab to cycle the window backward instead of forward.
  • When I first started using multi-SDI Word, I hated it, but now I agree it's much better to have just one way (Alt+Tab) to switch between windows instead of two (Alt+Tab vs. Ctrl+Tab/F6).

    Alt+Shift+Tab is your friend when you have lots of windows open and Alt+Tab past the one you want.
  • Last week I really discovered the genius behind the Microsoft Office way of doing MDI :)

    If you're using a multi-monitor setup then it's _very_ easy to display to Word documents at the same time using "the Microsoft Office way".

    However, using standard MDI it's not that easy. You have to un-maximize the main window and size it so it's size is as big as your total screen-area (NVidia has a feature for doing this easier). Then you need to size your documents so they fit each monitor. Blah..

    I hope that MDI in the "Longhorn era" will be based on Microsoft Office MDI (or something even better and easier :))
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