About the Menu Editor

The Menu Editor is contained in the Menu tab. It displays the menu graphics in either a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio (depending on what is set in the Menu tab in the Menu Inspector). There are also several buttons and pop-up menus that let you select what appears in the editor and provide tools that help with the menu creation process.

Figure. Menu Editor identifying the various areas.

The Menu Editor scales the menu to fit within its quadrant. As you make the quadrant larger, the menu also increases up to the point that it reaches full size, when it stops growing and the extra area around it is filled with gray. When working with the larger HD resolutions, however, you may find it difficult to increase the quadrant’s size enough to show the menu at full size. One option is to tear off the Menu tab into its own window, which you can then resize without affecting the rest of the DVD Studio Pro interface. See Tearing Off a Tab into Its Own Window for more information.

Using the Menu Rulers

The left and top sides of the Menu Editor can display rulers. When you click within the Menu Editor, marks on the ruler show the pointer’s position. The Alignment pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences contains configuration settings for the ruler. These settings include whether the rulers are shown and the units they use (pixels, percentage, and so on). See Alignment Preferences for details on setting the ruler’s preferences.

To show or hide the menu rulers
Do one of the following:
  • Select the relevant setting in the Alignment pane of DVD Studio Pro Preferences.

  • Press Command-R.

Using Menu Guides

You can create horizontal and vertical guides to assist you while creating your menu. The guides are useful when lining up buttons or text on a menu. You can create as many guides as you need, reposition them, and remove them. The guides include a snapping feature that makes it easy to position menu items.

The Alignment pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences contains configuration settings for the guides. These settings include whether the guides are shown and their color. See Alignment Preferences for details on setting the guide’s preferences.

To create a guide
  • Place the pointer over the top or left ruler, then drag into the Menu Editor.

Note: The rulers must be visible before you can add guides to the Menu Editor.

To reposition a guide
  • Drag the guide where you want it.

To hide or show previously created guides
Do one of the following:
  • Click the Guides button on the Menu Editor.

    Figure. Menu Editor button for showing and hiding the guides.
  • Press Command-Semicolon (;).

To temporarily disable snapping to the guides while moving an item
  • Press Command while dragging the item. This also disables the dynamic guides discussed in the next section, Using Dynamic Guides.

To remove a guide
  • Drag the guide back to the ruler.

Note: Like button outlines, guides are not included when you build your project, so it is not necessary for you to remove them when you are done.

Using Dynamic Guides

In addition to the menu guides, there are also dynamic guides that automatically appear as you drag menu objects. Dynamic guides make it easy to align menu objects with each other and with the menu’s center. As you move a menu object around, lines appear and the object snaps into position whenever one of its edges or its center is in alignment with another object’s edge or center or the menu’s center.

This tool is especially useful when you are creating duplicates of an existing button (by Option-dragging it) and want them all to line up with each other.

Only the guide preference’s color setting applies to dynamic guides—they do not disappear when you hide the menu guides.

To temporarily hide the dynamic guides and disable their snapping action
  • Hold down the Command key while you drag the menu object.

    Figure. Menu Editor showing dynamic guides.

Using the Align Objects Feature

The align objects feature allows you to select a group of objects and apply an alignment mode to them. For example, you could select three buttons and set them so that their left edges align.

The usual way of dragging to select a group of items will not work—you will end up creating a new button.

To select multiple menu items
Do one of the following:
  • To individually select items, hold down the Shift key and click them.

  • To select a group of items by dragging, press the Command key while dragging over them.

  • To select all items in the Menu Editor, press Command-A.

  • To deselect all items, press Command-Shift-A.

Once you have the objects selected, you can align them.

To use the align objects feature
  1. Select the group of objects to align.

    Note: The last object you select is the reference object that the others align to.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Arrange > Align Objects, then choose the alignment to use (Top, Center, Bottom, Left, Middle, or Right).

    • Control-click one of the selected objects, then choose the alignment to use (Top, Center, Bottom, Left, Middle, or Right) from Align Objects in the shortcut menu.

The objects move to the new alignment. If you get a surprising result, press Command-Z to undo the alignment and verify that you had the right buttons selected and that you selected the reference button last.

Using the Distribute Objects Feature

The distribute objects feature allows you to select a group of objects and evenly space them between each other.

To use the distribute objects feature
  1. Select the group of objects to distribute. See Using the Align Objects Feature for details on how to do this.

    Note: The order that you select the objects does not matter. The objects are distributed between the two outermost objects.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Arrange > Distribute Objects, then choose the distribution method to use (Horizontally or Vertically).

    • Control-click one of the selected objects, then choose the distribution method to use (Horizontally or Vertically) from Distribute Objects in the shortcut menu.

Menu Editor Pop-Up Menus and Tools

The Menu Editor tools let you customize the editor to your needs.

To show or hide the Menu Editor tools
  • Click the dots at the bottom of the Menu Editor.

Menu Editor Pop-Up Menus

The top of the Menu Editor contains several pop-up menus.

Menu Editor Tools

The lower part of the Menu Editor contains a variety of buttons.

  • Arrange controls: These buttons allow you to change the priority of the selected item, letting you control which items have a higher priority by bringing them forward, or by sending lower-priority items to the back. See About Button Numbers for more information.
    Figure. Menu Editor priority buttons for sending the current item to the back, bringing it to the front, or adjusting it one step forward or backward.
  • Add Submenu, Add Slideshow, and Add Track buttons: These buttons allow you to create a new element in your project and add a button to the current menu that connects to them. You can also press Command-Option-Y to create a submenu, Command-Option-K to create a slideshow, and Command-Option-T to create a new track.
    Figure. Element creation buttons of the Menu Editor for creating a submenu, slideshow, or track.

    The new button added to the menu uses the menu’s default button style. See Setting Default Styles for more information.

  • Button state selections: These buttons allow you to see the selected button in any of the three states (normal, selected, or activated). You can also press W to step through these options.
    Figure. Normal, selected, and activated button state selections in the Menu Editor.
  • Button Outlines button: You can turn on button outlines, which show each button’s active area box and the button name. When your menu has buttons without an asset or shape assigned, turning off button outlines can make them disappear, which can be confusing if you later forget they are there and add them again.
  • Guides button: You can show or hide the menu guides created when you drag from the rulers into the Menu Editor. This does not affect the dynamic guides that appear when you drag items in the menu. See Using Menu Guides for more information. See Alignment Preferences for details on setting the menu guide preferences. You can also press Command-Semicolon (;) to show or hide these guides.
    Figure. Menu Editor button outline and guide buttons.
  • Motion button: Applies to standard menus only. Use this button to start or stop playback of video and audio assets assigned to the menu. This is useful for motion menus and still menus that include audio, providing a preview of how the motion elements appear. You can also press the Space bar or Command-J to turn the motion on and off.
    Figure. Menu Editor Motion button for starting and stopping motion menu playback.

    Note: The Motion button in DVD Studio Pro does not work the same way as the similar button in iDVD. In DVD Studio Pro, the Motion button does not have to be active to create a motion menu. It does not affect how the menu will appear when you finish the project and build the title.