How to host an IContextMenu, part 5 – Handling menu messages

Raymond Chen


One bug that was called out immediately in

our first attempt at displaying the context menu to the user

is that the Open With and Send To submenus don’t work.

The reason for this is that these submenus are delay-generated
(which explains why they don’t contain anything interesting when
you expand them) and owner-drawn (which you can’t notice yet
because of the first problem, but trust me, they are).

This is where the


are used.

Historical note:
is on its own interface rather than being merged with
the base interface


because it was added late in Windows 95 development,
so it was considered safer to add a derived interface than
to make everybody who had been writing Windows 95 shell
extensions go back and rewrite their code.
was added in Internet Explorer 4 (I think)
when it became clear that the ability for a context menu extension
to override the default message return value was necessary
in order to support keyboard accessibility in owner-drawn context menus.

In a “real program”, these two variables would be class members
associated with the window, but this is just a sample program,
so they are globals.
When you write your own programs, don’t use global variables
because they will result in mass mayhem once you get
a second window, since both of them will try to talk to the interface
even though only the window displaying the context menu should be
doing so.

IContextMenu2 *g_pcm2;
IContextMenu3 *g_pcm3;

These two new variables track the IContextMenu2 and IContextMenu3
interfaces of the active tracked popup menu. We need to initialize
and uninitalize them around our call to TrackPopupMenuEx:

pcm->QueryInterface(IID_IContextMenu2, (void**)&g_pcm2);
pcm->QueryInterface(IID_IContextMenu3, (void**)&g_pcm3);

int iCmd = TrackPopupMenuEx(hmenu, TPM_RETURNCMD, pt.x, pt.y, hwnd, NULL);
if (g_pcm2) {
g_pcm2 = NULL;
if (g_pcm3) {
g_pcm3 = NULL;

And finally we need to invoke the HandleMenuMessage/HandleMenuMessage
methods in the window procedure:

WndProc(HWND hwnd, UINT uiMsg, WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam)
if (g_pcm3) {
if (SUCCEEDED(g_pcm3->HandleMenuMsg2(uiMsg, wParam, lParam, &lres))) {
return lres;
} else if (g_pcm2) {
if (SUCCEEDED(g_pcm2->HandleMenuMsg(uiMsg, wParam, lParam))) {
return 0;

switch (uiMsg) {

In the window procedure, we ask the context menu whether it
wishes to handle the menu message. If so, then we stop and
return the desired value (if HandleMenuMsg2) or just zero
(if HandleMenuMsg).

With these changes, run the scratch program again and observe
that the Open With and Send To submenus now operate as expected.

Next time: Getting menu help text


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