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VCL Ribbon, Toolbars, and Menus

  • 5 minutes to read

The ExpressBars Library allows you to build command bars and Microsoft Office-inspired interfaces: Ribbon UI, Toolbars and Menus, Tabbed MDI interfaces, and so on.

VCL Bars

Review the following topics for more information about the basic building blocks of the ExpressBars Library:

Bar Manager

Use the TdxBarManager component to create, customize, and store items (commands). You can create multiple item links so that the same command can appear within different controls - toolbars, status bars, menus, and Ribbon UI.

The following topics contain detailed information about this component:


Use the TdxRibbon control to integrate Ribbon UI into your application.

Ribbon Control

Office-inspired controls, such as Spreadsheet or Rich Text Editor, require an accompanying Ribbon or Toolbar UI with standard commands. The ExpressBars Library allows you to create such predefined interfaces. Please see the following topics for details:

Ribbon Form

The Ribbon Form is a form that supports skins and uses the Ribbon control’s style to paint its non-client area.

Ribbon Form

We recommend that you use this form if you create a Ribbon-based application. All Ribbon-related elements (the Ribbon control, status bar, and Backstage View) operate correctly only with this form.

The following topic describes how to use Ribbon forms to create Ribbon-style applications: Ribbon Application and Form IDE Templates

Contextual Tabs

Ribbon UI groups commands into multiple tabs to simplify user interaction with an application. The Ribbon control also supports contextual tabs that appear in response to user actions (for instance, text selection or a table insert operation).

Ribbon Tabs

Refer to the following topics for details:

Application Menu/Office Backstage View

The Ribbon control can display the Application Button that a user can click to invoke the menu that contains the most common application commands.

Use the Ribbon control’s ApplicationButton.Menu property to link the Application Button to any of the following menus:

Ribbon Application Menu

Place the TdxBarApplicationMenu component to the form and link it to the button.

An Application Menu

Office Backstage View

This menu style corresponds to the Office 2019 Ribbon, Office 2016 Ribbon, Office 2016 Tablet Ribbon, and Office 2013 Ribbon paint styles.

A Backstage View

Place the TdxRibbonBackstageView component to the form and link it to the button.


You can add any of the following galleries in a ribbon toolbar:

In-Ribbon Gallery

This gallery displays its items within a Ribbon.

An In-Ribbon Gallery

Dropdown Gallery

This gallery displays its content in a drop-down menu.

A Dropdown Gallery

Skin Chooser Gallery

This gallery allows users to switch between different skins and built-in look-and-feel styles at runtime.

A Skin Chooser Gallery

Backstage View Gallery

This gallery uses the Ribbon control’s color scheme to paint its content and allows you to pin items.

A Backstage View Gallery

Refer to the following topics for details:


A user can press Alt + (keyboard key) shortcut to activate the corresponding item within the Ribbon.

Ribbon Key Tips

The following elements support key tips:

Refer to the following topics for details: Ribbon KeyTips


The ExpressBars Library allows you to build traditional toolbar UI that was commonly used in earlier versions of Microsoft Office. Note that our implementation fully supports runtime toolbar customization, just like in Office applications.


You can pin a toolbar to an application form’s edge, create floating bars and main menu.

Refer to the following topics for more information about toolbars:

Status Bars

Use the TdxRibbonStatusBar or TdxStatusBar control to display status information in your application.

A Ribbon Status Bar

You can use any of the following panel styles:

To apply the Ribbon style to the Ribbon status bar, link the bar to the Ribbon control. Refer to the control’s ColorSchemeName and Style property descriptions for details.

Radial Menu

Use the TdxRibbonRadialMenu component to create a menu whose commands are arranged into a wheel. This UI emulates the mobile version of Microsoft Office and works best in applications that need to support touch gestures.

A Radial Menu

Tabbed MDI

The TdxTabbedMDIManager component allows you to display MDI child forms as tabs.

Tabbed Layout

In-Place Editors

You can embed editors into menus, toolbars and Ribbon UI.

In-Place Editor in a Ribbon

In-Place Editors

You can use multiple built-in toolbar editors. If you require an editor beyond the built-in types, add an editor container bar item (TcxBarEditItem) to your toolbar or menu. This item type allows you to use any control from the ExpressEditors Library.

Refer to the following topics for details:

See Also