Starting and Working with a Menu

By default, all projects have an empty standard menu for you to start with. You can also add additional menus as needed.

Creating a New Menu

The following describes how to add a new standard or layered menu to your project.

To add a standard menu
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Project > Add to Project > Menu (or press Command-Y).

  • Control-click in the Outline or Graphical tab, choose Add from the shortcut menu, then choose Menu from the submenu.

  • Click Add Menu in the toolbar.

A new standard menu is added to the project, with the name “Menu _,” where “_” is the number of that menu. You can rename menus, making it easier to locate specific ones.

To add a layered menu
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Project > Add to Project > Layered Menu (or press Command-Shift-Y).

  • Control-click in the Outline or Graphical tab, choose Add from the shortcut menu, then choose Layered Menu from the submenu.

  • Click Add Layered Menu in the toolbar.

A new layered menu is added to the project, with the name “Menu _,” where “_” is the number of that menu. You can rename menus, making it easier to locate specific ones.

You can also create a new standard submenu from an existing menu (standard or layered) by clicking the Add Submenu button in the Menu Editor.

Figure. Element creation buttons of the Menu Editor for creating a submenu, slideshow, or track.

This creates a new menu based on the original menu, using its background, buttons, and other settings. This also adds a new button to the existing menu that is linked to the new submenu.

Opening a Menu

To work with a menu, you need to open the Menu Editor for that menu. You can do so from the Outline tab, the Graphical tab, or within the Menu Editor.

To open a menu from the Outline tab
  1. Click the Outline tab.

  2. Click the disclosure triangle next to Menus to display a list of current menus (if they are not already visible).

  3. Select a menu by clicking its name.

The menu appears in the Menu Editor, and the Inspector switches to show the menu’s settings. If the Menu Editor is not visible, you can double-click the menu’s name in the Outline tab to make it appear.

To open a menu from the Graphical tab
  1. Click the Graphical tab.

  2. Select a menu by clicking its tile.

The menu appears in the Menu Editor, and the Inspector switches to show the menu’s settings. If the Menu Editor is not visible, you can double-click the menu’s tile in the Graphical tab to make it appear.

To choose a menu in the Menu Editor
  • Choose the menu to open from the View pop-up menu, located along the top of the Menu Editor.

The menu appears in the Menu Editor, and the Inspector switches to show the menu’s settings.

Naming a Menu

As you add menus to your project, you should rename them to make it easier to locate and group them.

To rename a menu
Do one of the following:
  • In the Outline tab, select the menu, click its name, then type the new name.

  • In the Graphical tab, select the menu tile, double-click its name, then type the new name.

  • Select the menu in the Outline tab, the Graphical tab, or the Menu Editor, then enter the new name in the Name field of the Menu Inspector.

Adding Assets to a Menu

There are several ways to add assets to a menu:

Dragging Assets to the Menu Editor

One way to add an asset to a menu is to drag the asset to the Menu Editor, and then use the Drop Palette to assign the asset a function. You can drag the asset from the Assets tab, the Palette, or from the Finder. You can also drag tracks, menus, and slideshows from the Outline or Graphical tab. When you drag an asset, the Drop Palette appears after a short delay to let you choose what function the asset will serve. For example, if you drag a still graphic, the menu may offer the options of using it as a background, an overlay, or a button.

The top item in the Drop Palette is the default function. If you drag an asset or element to the Menu Editor and release it before the Drop Palette appears, the default function is applied.

Viewing the Drop Palette

The Drop Palette appears when you drag items to the Menu Editor.

To see the Drop Palette
  • Drag the asset to the Menu Editor. When it’s positioned exactly where you want it, hold the asset there while you keep the mouse button pressed.

The Menu pane of DVD Studio Pro Preferences contains a setting that controls the length of the delay before the Drop Palette appears. See Menu Preferences for more information.

Figure. Menu Editor showing the Drop Palette.

The options in the Drop Palette depend on the type of asset you are dragging, whether you drag it to a button or an empty area of the menu, and the type of menu (standard or layered). For example, if you drag a video asset to an existing button, the Drop Palette provides the options of linking the video to the button and creating a track for it. If you drag the same asset to an empty part of the menu, the Drop Palette contains options for either using the video as the background, or adding a button at that location and linking it to the video.

  • If you drag an asset and you don’t see the options you expect in the Drop Palette: You may not have dragged it to the right place. Continue holding down the mouse button and drag the asset to the correct location.
  • If you drag to the menu but do not wait for the Drop Palette to appear: A default action is applied.
  • If you select an option that creates a new button on the menu: That button will use the default button style assigned to that menu. This style can determine whether or not the new button shows a thumbnail image of the asset.
  • If you are dragging multiple assets or elements and will be creating multiple buttons: The new buttons will be stacked together. To avoid problems with having overlapping buttons on a menu, be sure to drag them away from each other after they have been created.

See Options in the Drop Palette for Standard Menus and Options in the Drop Palette for Layered Menus for a complete list of Drop Palette options and details on what they do.

About Dragging Video and Audio Assets Together

Several of the Drop Palette options only appear when you select and drag a video/audio asset pair. A video/audio asset pair is created when you select a video asset, and then hold down the Command key and select a companion audio asset. (There are also other ways to select an asset pair, depending on where you are dragging from.)

Having Audio Automatically Follow the Video

If you drag a motion video asset by itself to the Menu Editor and choose an option from the Drop Palette that supports audio, DVD Studio Pro checks to see if there is an audio asset in the same folder with the same basic name as the video asset. If the option does support audio (such as creating a track or setting a menu’s background), and an audio file is not already assigned to the target element, DVD Studio Pro can automatically add the audio asset to the element, depending on the “Find matching audio when dragging” setting in the Track pane of DVD Studio Pro Preferences.

Note: You can override the “Find matching audio when dragging” preferences setting by pressing the Command key after you start dragging the video asset.

If you drag a QuickTime movie, from a Finder window or the Video tab in the Palette, that contains both video and audio to the Menu Editor, it is treated as if it were a video/audio pair, with both the video and audio being added to the element.

Selecting Multiple Menu Items

As you create your menus, there will be times when you need to select multiple menu items, such as buttons, drop zones, or text objects, so that they can all be moved, deleted, or have an attribute applied. 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. Any currently selected items are deselected first. Press the Command-Shift keys while dragging to keep any currently selected items selected.

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

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

Copying Menu Items

You are able to copy menu items, such as buttons, drop zones, and text objects, within an existing menu or from one menu to another. You can even copy multiple items at once. See Selecting Multiple Menu Items for more information.

The copied items retain all attributes of their original, including assigned assets and, in the case of buttons, their target settings. The new items have a higher priority than the original items. See About Button Numbers for information on how you can modify the item priorities.

There are several issues that can cause a copy operation to fail.

  • You are not allowed to copy items that are incompatible with their destination (such as copying a drop zone to a layered menu).

  • You are not allowed to copy buttons to a menu that would cause it to exceed the maximum allowed number of buttons. Menus with a 4:3 aspect ratio can have a maximum of 36 buttons. Menus with a 16:9 aspect ratio can have a maximum of 18 buttons.

Copying Items by Dragging

You can copy one or more items within a menu by selecting them and then dragging them to a new location.

To copy one or more items within a menu by dragging
  1. Select the items to be copied.

  2. Press the Option key, then drag the items to their new position.

If multiple items are selected, they all move as a group, maintaining their relationships to each other.

Using Copy, Cut, and Paste

You can use the Copy and Paste commands to copy items within a menu and between menus.

To copy one or more items using the Copy and Paste commands
  1. Select the items to be copied.

  2. Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).

    This copies the selected items to the Clipboard. The selected items are not affected.

  3. Select the menu where you want to paste the copied items.

  4. Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).

If no items are selected in the menu before you paste the copied items, the copied items are placed in the same locations as the originals. If an item is selected in the menu before you paste the copied items, the copied items are positioned relative to the selected item with a small offset.

You can use the Paste command multiple times after using the Copy command. This makes it easy to add a button to multiple menus.

To move one or more menu items using cut and paste
  1. Select the items to be moved.

  2. Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X).

    This copies the items to the Clipboard and removes the items from the current menu.

  3. Select the menu where you want to paste the cut items.

  4. Choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).

This is most useful when you are moving menu items from one menu to another.

Moving and Resizing Menu Items

There are a number of methods you can use to move or resize your buttons, drop zones, and text objects in your menu.

To move the item by dragging
  • Click inside the dashed lines and drag it to the new position.

To move the item by dragging in one direction only (horizontal or vertical)
  • Press the Shift key, then drag the item.

To move the item by dragging with snapping and the dynamic guides temporarily disabled
  • Press Command, then drag the item.

To move the item using the arrow keys
Do one of the following:
  • Select the item and press the arrow keys to move it one pixel at a time.

  • Press Shift and the arrow keys to move it 10 pixels at a time.

  • Press Shift-Option and the arrow keys to move it 20 pixels at a time.

To move a button or drop zone
  • Use the Coordinates & Size area in the Advanced tab in the Button Inspector or in the Drop Zone Inspector to precisely set a button’s or drop zone’s size and position.

To move an item’s edge
  • Click the resize handle at the center of the edge and drag it to the new position. This changes the item’s size.

To move an item’s corner (which moves two edges at once)
  • Click the resize handle at the corner and drag it to the new position. This also changes the item’s size.

To change a button’s or drop zone’s size while maintaining the button’s aspect ratio
To change a button’s or drop zone’s size while keeping the button centered at its current location
  • Click an edge or corner, start dragging, then press the Option key.

To delete an item
  • Select it (resize handles appear on its dashed line), then press the Delete key.

Verifying Your Menus

As you create your menus, you will want to verify several aspects of them:

  • Button connections: Do the buttons connect to the correct project elements?
  • Button navigation: As you navigate around the menu’s buttons using the arrow keys, does the button selection follow a logical path?
  • Menu aspect ratios and languages: Does the menu perform correctly with different displays and DVD player languages?

Verifying Button Connections

Each button’s Target setting (set in the Button Inspector) states its connection. Sometimes, however, the names of the various project elements can make it easy to choose a target that is not the one intended. For this reason, it’s important to verify the connections are correct. There are two ways you can do this:

  • Double-clicking the button in the Menu Editor: If you double-click a button that is connected to a different menu, the Menu Editor automatically switches to show that menu. If you double-click a button connected to a track, story, or slideshow, the appropriate editor opens to that element and the Viewer prepares to play it (all you need to do is click its play button).
  • Simulating the menu: You can simulate the menu by either Control-clicking in the Menu Editor, then choosing Simulate from the shortcut menu, or Control-clicking the menu in the Outline or Graphical tab, then choosing Simulate from the shortcut menu. This forces the Simulator to start at this menu instead of the First Play connection, as it does when started from the toolbar.

Verifying Button Navigation

To verify button navigation, you need to use the Simulator. Either Control-click in the Menu Editor, then choose Simulate from the shortcut menu, or Control-click the menu in the Outline or Graphical tab, then choose Simulate from the shortcut menu. You can now use the Simulator’s arrow keys to verify the navigation and highlight settings.

Verifying Menu Aspect Ratios and Languages

When you create menus using the 16:9 aspect ratio or multiple languages, you can use the Simulator to verify the menu configurations. In DVD Studio Pro Preferences, you can configure the Simulator to mimic a 16:9, 4:3 letterbox, or 4:3 pan-scan display. You can also configure the default language settings of the Simulator.

Once you have configured the Simulator preferences, Control-click the menu’s name in the Outline or Graphical tab, then choose Simulate from the shortcut menu.

About Chapter Index Menus

When you drag a video asset, track, or slideshow to the Menu Editor, you are given the option of creating a chapter index menu. A chapter index menu is created automatically and has buttons linked to the asset’s and track’s markers or the slides in a slideshow. How the chapter index menu is created depends on the menu already in the Menu Editor:

  • If the menu does not contain any buttons, text objects, or drop zones: That menu becomes the first chapter index menu (with additional chapter index menus added if more buttons are needed).
  • If the menu contains one or more buttons (whether you drag to them or not): A new menu is created to become the first chapter index menu (with additional chapter index menus added if more buttons are needed).

When you create a chapter index menu, a Choose Template or Layout Style dialog appears. You use this dialog to select a template or layout style to provide the template for what the menu will look like.

Figure. Choose Template or Layout Style dialog that appears when creating chapter index menus.

The template or layout style you select defines:

  • How many buttons are on a menu

  • Where the buttons are placed

  • What shape the buttons use

  • The navigation between the buttons

  • Whether the marker names are used as button text

  • Whether the marker’s video is used as a button asset

Templates can also define the menu background, assign an audio asset to the menu, and add text objects, such as a title.

If there are more markers or slides than buttons on the template or layout style you select, additional chapter index menus are created.

Templates and layout styles can also include buttons that do not get markers assigned to them. These are special-purpose buttons that you can use to provide navigation between the chapter index menu and other menus in your project.

Once the chapter index menu (or menus) are created, you need to configure the navigation between each of them and the other menus in your project. For example, you would need to provide a way to access the main menu from each chapter index menu, as well as access to the chapter index menus from the main menu. DVD Studio Pro can automatically configure the navigation if you use the correct special-purpose buttons. See Applying Templates or Layout Styles to a Menu with Buttons for information on how button attributes affect the creation of chapter index menus.

Additionally, you can modify any aspect of the chapter index menu that the template or layout style you chose defined. For example, you can move the buttons around, change their shapes, and add additional ones.

DVD Studio Pro includes several templates and layout styles you can choose from, and you can also create some of your own. See Using Templates, Styles, and Shapes to Create Your Menus to learn more about templates and styles.

About the First Marker Button in a Chapter Index Menu

DVD Studio Pro automatically adds the first marker to all tracks. It is named “Start” when the track is created by dragging a video asset to the Menu Editor. (When the asset is dragged to the Track Editor, the name is based on the marker naming settings in the Track pane of DVD Studio Pro Preferences.) When you create a chapter index menu, the first button linked to a marker is linked to the “Start” marker set by DVD Studio Pro.

Because this marker is at the start of the track, pressing this button plays the track from its beginning. If the marker names appear on your chapter index menu’s buttons, you may want to edit this button’s text to better describe its function.