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D.4 Lucid Menu X Resources

If the Emacs installed at your site was built to use the X toolkit with the Lucid menu widgets, then the menu bar is a separate widget and has its own resources. The resource names contain ‘pane.menubar’ (following, as always, the name of the Emacs invocation, or ‘Emacs’, which stands for all Emacs invocations). Specify them like this:

Emacs.pane.menubar.resource:  value

For example, to specify the font ‘8x16’ for the menu-bar items, write this:

Emacs.pane.menubar.font:  8x16

Resources for non-menubar toolkit pop-up menus have ‘menu*’ instead of ‘pane.menubar’. For example, to specify the font ‘8x16’ for the pop-up menu items, write this:*.font:	8x16

For dialog boxes, use ‘dialog*’:

Emacs.dialog*.font:	8x16

The Lucid menus can display multilingual text in your locale. For more information about fontsets see the man page for XCreateFontSet. To enable multilingual menu text you specify a fontSet resource instead of the font resource. If both font and fontSet resources are specified, the fontSet resource is used.

Thus, to specify ‘-*-helvetica-medium-r-*--*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*,*’ for both the popup and menu bar menus, write this:

Emacs*menu*fontSet:  -*-helvetica-medium-r-*--*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*,*

The ‘*menu*’ as a wildcard matches ‘pane.menubar’ and ‘menu…’.

Experience shows that on some systems you may need to add ‘shell.’ before the ‘pane.menubar’ or ‘menu*’. On some other systems, you must not add ‘shell.’. The generic wildcard approach should work on both kinds of systems.

Here is a list of the specific resources for menu bars and pop-up menus:


Font for menu item text.


Fontset for menu item text.


Color of the foreground.


Color of the background.


In the menu bar, the color of the foreground for a selected item.


Horizontal spacing in pixels between items. Default is 3.


Vertical spacing in pixels between items. Default is 2.


Horizontal spacing between the arrow (which indicates a submenu) and the associated text. Default is 10.


Thickness of shadow line around the widget. Default is 1.

Also determines the thickness of shadow lines around other objects, for instance 3D buttons and arrows. If you have the impression that the arrows in the menus do not stand out clearly enough or that the difference between “in” and “out” buttons is difficult to see, set this to 2. If you have no problems with visibility, the default probably looks better. The background color may also have some effect on the contrast.


The margin of the menu bar, in characters. Default is 1.

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