Using MenuLibre

Reference Documentation

As MenuLibre is a menu editor, the following documentation may be necessary for additional understanding.

The Main MenuLibre Window

When you first open MenuLibre, you are presented with the window shown in the example below:
The three main parts of the window are highlighted in the example:

    • The toolbar provides easy access to the most common functions: adding a new entry, saving, undo, redo, revert, delete, search, and application options.
    • The menu browser displays the current state of the menu and allows to to select and move menu entries.
    • The editor allows you to modify the currently selected menu entry.

Using the Toolbar

The toolbar contains the following items, from left to right: Add Launcher, Save Launcher, Undo, Redo, Revert, Delete, Search, Options. These widgets, and their functionality, are listed below.

Figure 2. The Toolbar

Adding a Menu Entry

When the “Add Launcher” button is pressed, the add menu is displayed. This menu allows the user to add a new launcher, directory, or separator. The newly added item is inserted below the current select menu entry. It can then be repositioned with the arrow buttons in the menu browser.


When changes have been made to the current selected menu entry, the save button is enabled. Clicking the save button will save the current selected entry. If the user does not have write access to that entry item, a new menu item is created for that user, overriding any system preset.

Undo, Redo, and Revert

When changes have been made to the current selected menu entry, the Undo, Redo, and Revert buttons are enabled. Clicking Undo will restore the previously changed value to its original state. Redo restores an undone action to its modified state. Revert restores the menu entry to its last saved state.

Deleting a Menu Entry

If the user has the correct permissions to remove a menu entry, the Delete button is enabled. Clicking this button will remove the menu entry from the system. If the user does not have permission to remove the menu entry, they can toggle the “Hide from menus” option and save their new menu entry, overriding the system default.


The search entry can be used to narrow down the menu browser to a set criteria. Items that match the query with either their name or comment will be displayed. Clicking the “clear” button that is displayed will clear the search terms.


Clicking the “Options” button will display commonly accessed application functions: Help, About, and Quit. This button is not displayed in Unity or Gnome Shell, which have their own implementations: global menu and app menu, respectively.

Using the Menu Browser

The menu browser allows the user to preview and select menu entries. The name of an entry is displayed in the browser, and the comment is displayed when hovered with the mouse. The arrow buttons allow the user to rearrange menu items.

Figure 3. The Menu Browser

Rearranging the Menu

Clicking the arrow buttons found at the bottom of the menu browser will move the currently selected menu item. If the directory above or below is expanded, the menu item will be moved into that entry. In this way, menu items can be easily placed into subdirectories.

Using the Entry Editor

The entry editor contains the controls used to modify application launchers and directories.

Figure 4. The Entry Editor

Icon Selection

Clicking on the displayed application icon presents a selection dialog. From here, the user can preview the currently selected icon in multiple sizes, and also choose an icon from the installed icons or from a filename. Changes are not committed until “Apply” is pressed in the Icon Selection dialog.

Name and Comment

Clicking on either the name or comment labels will display an editor. When the user is done changing the name or comment, they can either commit the changes by clicking the OK button, or restore the original value by pressing the Cancel button.

Command and Working Directory

The Command and Working Directory settings can either be manually entered, or selected with a file browser. To do the latter, click the folder button to browse for an executable or directory to be used. Be sure to click OK when finished.


The settings that are displayed under “Options” are as follows:

  • Run in terminal: This setting determines whether the application should be launched from within a terminal window.
  • Use startup notification: This setting indicates whether the busy cursor should be displayed when the application is starting. This setting is dependent on the desktop environment's support for this feature.
  • Hide from menus: This setting determines whether the current selected menu item should be displayed or hidden from the application menu.


The categories editor is displayed when the “Categories” button is pressed. It allows the user to modify the categories used in the application launcher. These categories often affect where the application is displayed in the menu.

Figure 5. The Categories Editor

Adding a New Category

When the Add button (+) is clicked, a new row is added to the categories treeview. The row is empty by default, but clicking on the “Select a category” cell will display a list of the available categories. When the launcher is saved, any unspecified categories are automatically removed.

Removing Categories

Clicking the Remove button (-) will remove the current select category. Clicking the Clear button (far right) will remove all categories.

Actions (Quicklists)

The Unity dock and Plank have support special entries in the launcher right-click menu known as “actions” or “quicklists”. MenuLibre provides an actions editor to easily update these entries. The actions editor is displayed when the “Actions” button is pressed.

Figure 6. The Actions Editor

Adding a New Action

When the Add button (+) is clicked, a new row is added to the actions treeview. The row just has the name “New Shortcut”, and no command by default. Clicking on either cell allows the user to edit this action. When the launcher is saved, any actions without a command are automatically removed.

Removing Actions

Clicking the Remove button (-) will remove the current select actions. Clicking the Clear button will remove all actions.

Rearranging Actions

Clicking the arrow buttons found at the bottom of the actions editor will move the currently selected action up and down.


The advanced options are displayed when the “Advanced” button is pressed. These settings are not useful for most users, but made available for completeness sake.

Figure 7. Advanced Options

The options displayed under Advanced are as follows:

  • Generic Name: A generic description used in some menu implementations.
  • Try Exec: Path to an executable file on disk used to determine if the program is actually installed.
  • Only Shown In/Now Shown In: A list of strings identifying the environments that should display/not display a given desktop entry. Only one of these keys, either OnlyShowIn or NotShowIn, may appear in a group.
  • Mimetypes: The MIME type(s) supported by this application.
  • Keywords: A list of strings which may be used in addition to other metadata to describe this entry.
  • Startup WM Class: If specified, it is known that the application will map at least one window with the given string as its WM class or WM name hint.
  • Hidden: Another key representing whether a launcher should be displayed in the menu.
  • DBUS Activatable: If D-Bus activation is supported for this application.