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Milonic DHTML Menu Beginner User Manual


Terminology

Menu refers to a collection of text/images that make up a navigation tool.

Main menu is the first horizontal or vertical group of menu items that will appear on the page.

Menu items are the components that make up a menu. Each horizontal or vertical box is called an item and can contain text and/or images.

Sub menus are menus which are opened once pre-defined menu items are moved over or clicked using the mouse.

Property refers to each individual variable or attribute that makes the menu customisable. Examples are color, bgcolor, bordercolor, separatorcolor.

Style is the name of the pre-defined style that you intend to use for this menu. There are no restrictions to the quantity of styles you can use per menu.


Introduction

The Milonic DHTML Menu is made up of 4 Javascript files; mmenudom.js, mmenuns4.js, milonic_src.js and menu_data.js. This may sound complicated to novice or non-programmers so this manual aims to dispel any complexities encountered and run through the essential information providing examples along the way.

The manual is split into sections that mirror the order used in creating your menu. You may find it useful to print out the manual before you begin so that it may be used for reference or as a step by step guide.

Beginner Manual Print Version


Download

Downloading the menu couldn’t be simpler, visit http://www.milonic.com/download.php and you’ll see our website will offer 2 download links, one in .zip format and the other in .tar.gz format. If you have already purchased a license the system will create the download with the license details built-in to the code. Click to download the preferred format and save in a suitable location.

The downloaded folder should contain 11 files; 4 javascript files(.js), 4 text files(.txt), 2 html files and an image(.gif). The text files contain installation instructions and our Software License Agreement, we advise that you read this and only continue if you accept its terms and conditions.



Installation

Installing the menu can create some problems however if you follow these instructions it should go without a hiccup.

  1. Copy the files mmenudom.js, mmenuns4.js, milonic_src.js and menu_data.js to your web server. You can put these in a directory if you like but you will need to add details of your directory to the code in section 2 below.

  2. Inform your web pages that you want the menu to appear when they are loaded. To do this, you need to add the following JavaScript tags to your HTML page:

    <SCRIPT language=JavaScript src="milonic_src.js" type=text/javascript></SCRIPT>
    <script language=JavaScript>
    if(ns4)_d.write("<scr"+"ipt language=JavaScript src=mmenuns4.js><\/scr"+"ipt>");
    else _d.write("<scr"+"ipt language=JavaScript src=mmenudom.js><\/scr"+"ipt>"); </script>
    <SCRIPT language=JavaScript src="menu_data.js" type=text/javascript></SCRIPT>

    The position of the above is not particularly important, but it's advisable to place these tags just after the <BODY> tag or in the <HEAD> of your document. This helps minimize the risk of a conflict with other objects. The order in which the tags appear IS important, and must be as shown above. It’s best to copy and paste to eliminate any mistakes.

  3. Load up your page with your web browser. If all is well, the menu should appear. If not, go over steps 1 and 2 again and ensure that all actions have been taken before you contact us.

Editing Your Menus

All menus are built using the default menu_data.js file that accompanies the download. This is the only file you will need to edit in order to build and design your menu for your own website or Intranet, etc. For this we recommend a good quality plain text editor.

The menu_data.js File
Before we get down to the nitty gritty, let’s get acquainted with the file we will be working with. Open up the menu_data.js file and have a look at the javascript. At the top of the file there are 4 lines of code:

_menuCloseDelay=500 // The time delay for menus to remain visible on mouse out
_menuOpenDelay=
150 // The time delay before menus open on mouse over
_subOffsetTop=
10 // Sub menu top offset
_subOffsetLeft=-
10 // Sub menu left offset

The first two lines control the time delay for menu opening on mouse over and closing on mouse out. You will notice the default close delay is far longer, this allows for navigating between parent and child menus without the menu closing abruptly once your mouse moves off the parent menu.
The bottom two lines are used to apply an offset to a sub menu. An offset is used if you do not wish to have submenus open directly underneath or adjacent to the item that has opened it up.

Next in the code is where the style of the menu is declared:

with(menuStyle=new mm_style()){
onbgcolor=
"#4F8EB6";
oncolor=
"#ffffff";
offbgcolor=
"#DCE9F0";
offcolor=
"#515151";
bordercolor=
"#296488";
borderstyle=
"solid";
borderwidth=
1;
separatorcolor=
"#2D729D";
separatorsize=
"1";
padding=
5;
fontsize=
"75%";
fontstyle=
"normal";
fontfamily=
"Verdana, Tahoma, Arial";
pagecolor=
"black";
pagebgcolor=
"#82B6D7";
headercolor=
"#000000";
headerbgcolor=
"#ffffff";
subimage=
"arrow.gif";
subimagepadding=
"2";
overfilter=
"Fade(duration=0.2);Alpha(opacity=90);Shadow(color='#777777', Direction=135, Strength=5)";
outfilter=
"randomdissolve(duration=0.3)";
}

The style contains all the color and size information for text, images, background, borders, separators, padding etc. Each line has a different parameter and a value. This is also where filters can be set, the last two lines indicate the opening and closing filters for the menu. Above is one style, multiple styles are used to vary colors between main and sub menus or menu items.

The rest of the file is made up of the main and sub menus data that forms the complete menu. The code is split into blocks like this:

with(milonic=new menuname("Main Menu")){
style
=menuStyle;
top
=10;
left
=10;
alwaysvisible=
1;
orientation=
"horizontal";
aI(
"text=Home;url=http://www.milonic.com/;status=Back To Home Page;");
aI(
"text=Menu Samples;showmenu=Samples;");
aI(
"text=Milonic;showmenu=Milonic;");
aI(
"text=Partners;showmenu=Partners;");
aI(
"text=Links;showmenu=Links;");
aI(
"text=My Milonic;showmenu=MyMilonic;");
}


This code represents the main menu, and contains all the information needed for its creation. The style, position and orientation are all defined at the top of the menu. Each line beginning with aI that you see represents a menu item. Text= denotes the text that will appear in the item. Url= sets the destination address for clickable menu items. Status= allows you to add status bar text when you mouse over the item. Showmenu= declares the name of the menu you wish to open when the item is in the mouse over state.


Entering Text Into Menu Items
Open up the menu_data.js file if it isn’t already open and scroll down to where you see the main menu block of code (above). The text that appears in each menu item is declared in each aI string where you see “text=Home;
To change the text simply delete the text “Home” between the equals= and semicolon; and replace it with whatever you wish to appear in the first menu item of the menu.
Save the file and load up your page with your web browser to see the change.


Adding/Deleting Menu Items
Each line starting aI in each menu block represents a menu item;
aI("text=Menu Samples;showmenu=Samples;");
so if you wish to add further items simply copy and paste an existing line of code. This can then be edited to contain the information you need. Deleting a menu item is just as simple, highlight the line that is surplus to requirement and delete!


Adding/Deleting Menus
To add another menu copy and paste an existing menu, change its name and then change the menu items to suit your needs.
Remember each menu will look something like this:

with(milonic=new menuname("Anti Spam")){
style=menuStyle;
aI("text=Spam Cop;url=http://www.spamcop.net/;");
aI("text=Mime Defang;url=http://www.mimedefang.org/;");
aI("text=Spam Assassin;url=http://www.spamassassin.org/;");
}

In order to open the new menu, you'll need to add a menu item with a showmenu declaration pointing to the name of your new menu. The menu example above is opened from the anti spam menu item in the Links menu:
aI("text=Anti Spam Tools;showmenu=Anti Spam;status=Anti Spam Solutions, as used by Milonic;");



Styling Your Menu

Changing The Text Color
In the menu style section there are properties called oncolor and offcolor. These control the text color in the mouse on and off states. The default colors are as follows:

oncolor="#FFFFFF";
offcolor="#515151";


This means the text will change from grey to white when you mouse over it. Now replace the hex values with those below, save the file and load up your page with your web browser to see the change.

oncolor="#000000";
offcolor="#FE0101";


Any hex values can be added here, we suggest a strong color contrast to easily distinguish between the mouse on and mouse off states.


Make The Most of Your Fonts
The font used in your menu is often overlooked and can add distinction to the style of your menu. fontstyle='italic'; is used to make your text appear in italics and fontweight='bold'; is used to make your text appear bold.
Other properties such as onbold, onitalic and ondecoration add interest in the mouseover state.
onbold=1;
onitalic=1;

Declaring onbold and onitalic (above) will make your menu item text bolder and italic when the mouse is moved over them. The ondecoration property sets the text decoration for all menu text in the mouseover state. Options are none, underline, overline or line-through, enter the line below into the style section of menu_data.js to see the result.
ondecoration='underline';


Changing The Background Color
As with the text color properties, in the menu style section there are properties called bgcolor and offbgcolor. These control the background color in the mouse on and off states. The menu demo colors are as follows:
onbgcolor="#4F8EB6";
offbgcolor="#DCE9F0";

This means each menu item background will change from light blue to dark blue when you mouse over it. Try the colors below for a stark contrast:
onbgcolor="#FFFFFF";
offbgcolor="#000000";

Remember to save the file and load up your page with your web browser to see the change. If you would prefer not to have a background at all simply delete these two lines of code.


 



Borders
The properties involved with the menu border are:

bordercolor="#296488";
borderstyle="solid";
borderwidth=1;


The border can make a huge difference to the appearance of your menu. The color of the border can be changed the same as the text color and background color. Borderwidth declares the thickness of the border and the borderstyle is the way in which the color appears. Solid will show a continuous solid border, other options are; dashed, dotted, double, groove, ridge, inset and outset. Apply changes such as these:

bordercolor="#515151";
borderstyle="dashed";
borderwidth=2;


See how dramatically different the menu looks, test the other borderstyles to see whether they will suit the design you have in mind. If you would prefer not to have a border at all simply delete these three properties and values from your menu_data.js file.

The diagram above highlights how the on and offborder properties operate. Item borders work in the same way as the menu border, however instead of using many different properties to obtain your design you can use just one for the offborder and one for the onborder:

offborder="1px solid #aaaaaa";
onborder="2px solid #000000";


See how the size, style and color are combined into one single property. Try adding item borders to your menu style and see the difference it makes. Onborders and offborders are generally used with a margin (see below) to allow extra space around the item.


Margins
Margins are useful to add space around the outside of your menu items but within your menu border:

To add a margin you’ll need to add the following property to each menu that you wish it to appear;

margin=6;

So if you want a margin in your main menu the block of code looks like this:

with(milonic=new menuname("Main Menu")){
style
=menuStyle;
top
=10;
itemwidth=100;
alwaysvisible=
1;
orientation=
"horizontal";
margin=6;
aI(
"text=Home;align=center;url=http://www.milonic.com/;image=red.gif;");
aI(
"text=Milonic;align=center;showmenu=Milonic;image=orange.gif;");
aI(
"text=Partners;align=center;showmenu=Partners;image=yellow.gif;");
aI(
"text=Links;align=center;showmenu=Links;image=green.gif;");
aI(
"text=My Milonic;align=center;showmenu=MyMilonic;image=blue.gif;");
aI("text=Search;align=center;image=purple.gif;");
}

Try adding the margin property to your menu with varying sizes and view how different the menu looks with this "breathing space".


Separators
A separator adds definition between each of your menu items. In the demo you have downloaded, the separator appears as a basic line which adjoins the border:
separatorcolor="#2D729D";
separatorsize="1";

There are many other properties which can add flexibility to your separators;

separatorwidth=’60’; declares the width of your separator (this value must be smaller than the width of the menu to be visible).
separatoralign=’left’; declares the alignment of your separator (you must have declared a separatorwidth that is smaller than the width of the menu to be visible).

separatorpadding=’2’; will add white space either side of the menu item separator in both horizontal and vertical menus.

separatorimage=’yourimage.gif’; allows a custom image to be used instead of a standard separator line. Here we’ve used a simple gradient (you must have declared a separatorsize that is large enough to contaiual/separatorimage.gif" width="129" height="85"> separatorimage=’yourimage.gif’; allows a custom image to be used instead of a standard separator line. Here we’ve used a simple gradient (you must have declared a separatorsize that is large enough to contain your image).

Separators can also be removed easily by deleting the separator properties.


Using Images

Images can be used to great effect and there are many ways images can be added to your menu design. Declaring images in your style will make the images appear in all menus that use the style. For more specific use of images they can be added to each individual menu item (see page 7).

Subimage
In the demo we are using, the only images that appear are subimages, these are the indicators that show there is a submenu available.



Above you can see that all the items except “Home” have submenus.
The position of subimages can be adjusted through the use of subimagepadding. The default setting for subimagepadding in this example is 2. The property looks like this:

subimagepadding="2"; and can be found in the style section of the code. Try changing the value to 10, save the file and view in your browser.



See how space has been added around the subimage and not around the whole item.

Changing the color, size or position of the arrow in a separate image and having them swap between the mouse on or off state is a great way of highlighting your selected menu item. The property that allows this second rollover image to be activated in the mouse on state is onsubimage. Add the line of code below to your style (substituting arrow_on.gif with the name of your file), save and test to see how effective it can be.
onsubimage="arrow_on.gif";


Image
The image property enables you to add an image which will be placed to the left of the text, so when it’s used in the style it’s ideal to insert small bullet type images that punctuate each item.



To add an image copy the image to your web server or menu directory and insert this line to your style:
image="yourimagename.gif";
Save the file and test in your browser, you should see that every item that uses the style now has your image. You will notice that your image is placed to the left of the menu item leaving no space between it and the border. This may be a design feature you wish to keep or you may wish to add padding as we did with the subimage.
The property responsible for this type of padding is imagepadding and is declared by using the following line of code:
imagepadding="6";



See how the padding has been added around the image and not affected the height of the menu item. The image and imagepadding properties can be added to your style anywhere, here’s an example:

subimage="arrow.gif";
subimagepadding=
"2";
image=
"square.gif";
imagepadding=
"6";
overfilter=
"Fade(duration=0.2);Alpha(opacity=90);Shadow(color='#777777', Direction=135, Strength=5)";
outfilter=
"randomdissolve(duration=0.3)";
}

To add a rollover or change of image in the mouse on state, simply add another property called overimage to your style section. Here’s how it should appear:
overimage=”yourimage_on.gif”;



As you can see above you can create subtle but effective definition between images as they are rolled over.


Using Image in Menu Items
Using the image property in a menu item rather than the style allows greater flexibility as each item can hold a different image.



We will use the coloured square example above to show how this can be achieved.
Note: we are not using subimages in this example for clarity reasons only.

To test this for yourself you will first need a number of different images, if you haven’t got any suitable images to hand visit the image forum or http://www.milonic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4602 and save some of the available coloured squares (right click, then Save Picture As…).

The menu code you are working with will have the following menu item declared in the main menu block of code:

aI("text=Home;url=http://www.milonic.com/;status=Back To Home Page;");

This represents the “Home” menu item, as we do not need the status text for this example remove the text status=Back To Home Page; so you are left with this:

aI("text=Home;url=http://www.milonic.com/;");

Now we can add our image. First make sure all your images have been copied to your web server or menu directory. Then add image=red.gif; (substitute red.gif for the name of your file) to the end of the aI string (inside the brackets between the semi colon and second quote) so it appears like this:

aI("text=Home;url=http://www.milonic.com/;image=red.gif;");

Your image should now appear alongside the “Home” text in the first menu item.
To review your image, save menu_data.js and view the menu in your web browser. Add your further images in the same way, remembering to save and view the changes each time you add an image. You may wish to add imagepadding if you are unhappy with the spacing between the image and border, this is achieved in the same way we did previously.

You may notice the text in your menu item no longer appears balanced, adding the align property align=center; to your menu item will make it more central:

aI("text=Home;align=center;url=http://www.milonic.com/;image=red.gif;");

Once you’ve added your images the main menu code should look something like this:

with(milonic=new menuname("Main Menu")){
style
=menuStyle;
top
=10;
left
=10;
itemwidth=100;
alwaysvisible=
1;
orientation=
"horizontal";
aI(
"text=Home;align=center;url=http://www.milonic.com/;image=red.gif;");
aI(
"text=Milonic;align=center;showmenu=Milonic;image=orange.gif;");
aI(
"text=Partners;align=center;showmenu=Partners;image=yellow.gif;");
aI(
"text=Links;align=center;showmenu=Links;image=green.gif;");
aI(
"text=My Milonic;align=center;showmenu=MyMilonic;image=blue.gif;");
aI("text=Search;align=center;image=purple.gif;");
}

Creating images that rollover or change in the mouse on state is straightforward, simply add another property overimage=white.gif; to your menu item aI string so it appears like this:

aI("text=Home;align=center;url=http://www.milonic.com/;image=red.gif;overimage=white.gif;");


All Image Menus
For those who intend to use only images and no text you can use the same method applied to using the image property in menu items. The main difference will be your style, very little style information is needed if you opt for an all images menu.

Once you’ve created your images simply declare them in each menu item to build your menu and style. Using only images in your menu design, gives you full control over the shape and feel of the navigation tool. It means that designers can be creative and do not have to adhere to the standard box type menu pattern.

Visit out all images sample for futher details.


Background Images
The background images in the menu are controlled by the bgimage property and allow you to add images that will sit behind the text.



The bgimage property can be declared in both the menu style and menu item in the same way the image property is used. For identical background images in each item (see above) declare the property in your menu’s style:

imagepadding=
"10";
overfilter=
"Fade(duration=0.2);Alpha(opacity=90);Shadow(color='#777777', Direction=135, Strength=5)";
outfilter=
"randomdissolve(duration=0.3)";
bgimage=
"background.gif";
}

You can use a custom sized image to fit the exact menu item shape or you can use a small image which will be repeated to fill each item’s space. To place a different background image in each menu item declare the property in the menu item aI string so it appears like this:

with(milonic=new menuname("Main Menu")){
style
=menuStyle;
itemheight=31;

itemwidth=100;
alwaysvisible=
1;
orientation=
"horizontal";
aI(
"text=Home;align=center;url=http://www.milonic.com/;bgimage=disco_left.gif;");
aI(
"text=Milonic;align=center;showmenu=Milonic;bgimage=disco_mid.gif;");
aI(
"text=Partners;align=center;showmenu=Partners;bgimage=disco_mid.gif;");
aI(
"text=Links;align=center;showmenu=Links;bgimage=disco_mid.gif;");
aI(
"text=My Milonic;align=center;showmenu=MyMilonic;bgimage=disco_mid.gif;");
aI("text=Search;align=center;bgimage=disco_right.gif;");
}


The code above informs the menu to use the three images in specific menu items, disco_left.gif in the “home” item. The disco_mid.gid image in “Milonic” “Partners” and “Links,” and disco_right.gif in the “Search” item:

This property is great for adding intricate designs to your menu style without having to incorporate text into the images for both the on and off state.

Background images can also be used to achieve rollover effects as the mouse moves on and off each menu item. To do this you’ll need the overbgimage property. As with bgimage, overbgimage can be declared in both the menu’s style (to appear in all items using that style) and each specific menu item.

To test the bgimage and overbgimage effect at work you’ll need two different images (preferably the same size). The best results are often achieved by using similar images with subtle differences.


Menu Background Images
The menubgimage property is used to add an image to the background of the whole menu rather than each menu item. This means it is ideal for adding texture to a menu as the image can be repeated without having seems or joins in between each menu item. It’s also useful for users who wish to use margins (the area between the item and border) as it fills the entire space inside the border not just the menu item area.


Adding more than one menu to a page
Many of our users use both a horizontal and a vertical menu on their websites to help navigate their vast number of pages and add interest.

The first thing you’ll need to do is create a data file for your second menu. To do this make a copy of your original menu_data.js and rename it menu_data_new.js

Then in menu.htm (or your web page that contains the menu) add an additional call to your new menu_data_new.js file so the source code now looks like this:

<SCRIPT language=JavaScript src="milonic_src.js" type=text/javascript></SCRIPT>
<script language=JavaScript>
if(ns4)_d.write("<scr"+"ipt language=JavaScript src=mmenuns4.js><\/scr"+"ipt>");
else _d.write("<scr"+"ipt language=JavaScript src=mmenudom.js><\/scr"+"ipt>");
</script>

<SCRIPT language=JavaScript src="menu_data.js" type=text/javascript></SCRIPT>
<SCRIPT language=JavaScript src="menu_data_new.js" type=text/javascript></SCRIPT>

Now to reposition your second menu. This is necessary because both menus are placed at exactly the same point on the page so it will appear that only one is present. Open up your menu_data_new.js file and scroll down to the main menu section of the code. You should see a top value and a left value like this:
top=10;
left
=10;

Change these values to reflect where you want the second menu to appear, for example if you want it to sit underneath the original menu try these values:
top=60;
left
=10;

Test your page in your web browser to see how the two menus work together on the page.


As you can see, at the moment the menus are identical but that’s only because the second menu’s data file is a copy of the original.

If you want your second menu to be vertical you’ll need to change the menu’s orientation. To do this simply change orientation="horizontal"; to orientation="vertical"; in the main menu block of code. Now all that’s left to do is to insert any differing text/link information and style the new menu.



Inserting An Email Link

Most websites have to include a contact link on all pages, so why not place your email link actually in the menu. This will free up some valuable space and make your contact address more accessible.

Inserting an email link into the menu works in the same way as any link, only where you would normally place url=http://..... you place the following:
url=mailto:info@example.com;

 


Purchase The Menu

Download DHTML Menu

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Milonic provide full featured pull down web menus for some of the worlds largest companies

Learn about how Milonic's DHTML menus can benefit your site

What does it cost? DHTML Menu prices

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Sample Client list

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Our bolt-on modules provide free optional extras for specialist projects

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What is Milonic up to at the moment? Check our blog