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Menu Basics

Chapter 2 discussed how to import menus. You can also create menus from scratch in Encore DVD, as I'll discuss here. The processes of creating, deleting, and modifying menus in Encore DVD are similar to those you use with when working with timelines. You'll use the Project and Menus tabs to access and manage your menus.

To create a menu in Encore DVD:

Select the Project tab or Menu tab of the Project window.

Choose Menu > New Menu (Figure 4.1), or click the Create a New Menu button at the bottom of the Project window (Figure 4.2).

Figure 4.1. The classic approach to creating a new menu.

Figure 4.2. Another way to create a menu.

Encore DVD refers to the list of menus in the Library palette and opens the template currently set as the default (Figure 4.3).

Figure 4.3. The default menu is indicated by the little star on the icon in the Library tab list.


Select the Library palette.

Click the Menu Display toggle button on the Library palette (Figure 4.4).

Figure 4.4. Click the menu display toggle to show menus…

A list of menu templates appears. (You may want to deselect the other display toggle buttons in order to confine your view to menus.)

Choose a menu template from the list and click the New Menu button at the bottom of the palette (Figure 4.5).

Figure 4.5. …and then click the New Menu button to create one from your selection.

The selected template opens.

✓ Tips

  • When using either of these methods, a new menu appears in both the Project and Menus tabs of the Project window, and the Menu Editor window automatically opens. To save effort in rearranging windows, you can enable the Menu Design workspace, or make and save one of your own. See Chapter 2 for more information on workspaces.

  • The Library palette stores templates for menus, buttons, and backgrounds, and has a default selection in each of these categories. To change the default selection, right-click on the item you want to set as the default and choose Set as Default from the contextual menu that appears (Figure 4.6).

    Figure 4.6. You can specify defaults for any of the items in the Library palette.

  • Each menu template in the Library palette consists of at least a background layer—even the “blank” menus. This background layer can be covered over, but it cannot be deleted or modified. You'll see that its controls are grayed out when viewed in the Layers palette.

  • Most of the menu templates included with Encore DVD were created with a standard 4:3 pixel aspect ratio. If you are working in a widescreen (16:9) project, you'll want to use menus created in the 16:9 aspect ratio. There's more about working with aspect ratios later in the chapter.

  • If you create a menu in Photoshop and want to import it into Encore DVD, the process is basically the same as that for timelines outlined in Chapter 3. For more specifics on using Photoshop and Encore DVD, see Chapter 7.

To name a menu:

Select a menu in either the Project or Menus tab.

Choose Edit > Rename (Figure 4.7).

Figure 4.7. The first step in the process of renaming a menu...

The Rename Menu dialog appears.

Type a new name in the dialog (Figure 4.8).

Figure 4.8. …and here is the second step.


With the Properties palette open, select a menu in either the Project or Menus tab of the Project window.

Enter a new name for the menu in the Name box in the Properties palette (Figure 4.9). You can add a description here, too.

Figure 4.9. You can also change a menu's name in the Properties palette.

✓ Tip

  • If you right-click on a menu in the Project or Menus tab, you can rename it from the contextual menu.

To display a menu:

  • Double-click a menu's icon in either the Project or Menus tab.


  • Right-click a menu icon and choose Open (Figure 4.10).

    Figure 4.10. Opening a menu.

    The Menu Editor appears with the selected menu displayed (Figure 4.11). Clicking any menu's Close box (the X) removes it from the Menu Editor window.

    Figure 4.11. The menu, ready to go in the Menu Editor.

To display multiple menus:

In the Project or Menus tab, select the menus you want to display (Figure 4.12).

Figure 4.12. You can select a bunch of menus all at once.

Double-click a menu icon.

All selected menus are displayed in the Menu Editor as tabs (Figure 4.13).

Figure 4.13. Multiple menus appear as tabs in the Menu Editor.

✓ Tips

  • A menu can be rearranged in the Menu Editor window by selecting its tab and dragging it to a new position.

  • Elements can be copied between menus in the Menu Editor.

To duplicate a menu:

Select a menu in the Project or Menus tab.

Right-click and choose Copy (Figure 4.14).

Figure 4.14. The first step in copying a menu.

Right-click again in the Project tab and choose Paste.

The copied menu appears in the Project and Menus tabs with the suffix “copy” added (Figure 4.15).

Figure 4.15. The copy is available in both the Menus and Project tabs.

✓ Tip

  • Ctrl-click or Shift-click to copy multiple menus and proceed as above.

To delete a menu:

Right-click a menu in the Project or Menus tab and choose Clear from the contextual menu (Figure 4.16).

Figure 4.16. Deleting a menu from the project.

A Delete Menu Confirmation dialog appears (Figure 4.17).

Figure 4.17. Encore DVD wants to make sure you're sure before deleting.

Click OK.

✓ Tip

  • Creating, copying, and deleting are all undoable and redoable actions. Use the standard Windows commands and the Edit > History menu.

To adjust the aspect ratio of a menu:

With the Properties palette open, open a menu in the Project or Menus tabs. The menu is displayed in the Menu Editor (Figure 4.18).

Figure 4.18. A typical menu, created in a 4:3 aspect ratio.

The menu's aspect ratio is indicated at the bottom of the Properties palette (Figure 4.19).

Figure 4.19. The aspect ratio for menus is deternined by these controls in the Properties palette.

Change the aspect ratio by clicking one of the buttons in the Aspect Ratio section of the Properties palette.

The aspect ratio of the menu in the Menu Editor changes accordingly (Figure 4.20).

Figure 4.20. This is what can happen with an aspect ratio mismatch: a 4:3 menu stretched into a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.

✓ Tips

  • Encore DVD actually changes the pixel aspect ratio of the menu to fit the screen aspect ratio selected in the Properties palette.

  • Keeping aspect ratios consistent in a project avoids jarring transitions between menus, timelines, and so on. Making an adjustment in the Properties palette does reformat a menu to a new aspect ratio, but there will be some compromises. The elements of a menu—the buttons, text, and the like—will appear somewhat “stretched” or “squeezed” when reformatted. For best results, create the menu in the aspect ratio you will be using in the project.

To view a menu on an external monitor:

Connect a DV device, such as a camera or a transcoder, to your computer via Firewire (for specifics, consult the user's guide for your particular device).

Choose Edit > Preferences > Video Out (Figure 4.21).

Figure 4.21. The setup for external viewing is in the project's Preferences menu.

The Preferences dialog appears.

Check the Show Menu Editor on DV Hardware option in the Preferences dialog (Figure 4.22).

Figure 4.22. Checking this option gets it all started.

Click Search to find available DV devices.

Available devices appear in a list (Figure 4.23).

Figure 4.23. As soon as a DVD device is recognized, it appears in the list.

Select the device you want from the list and click OK.

Encore DVD routes the output of the Menu Editor to the selected device.

✓ Tips

  • You may have to verify Encore DVD's connection to the DV device by clicking the Check Status button in the Video Out preferences window.

  • Guides, button routing, and other overlays are not displayed on the external monitor.

  • The DV device must be in VCR mode in order to receive the output of the Menu Editor.

  • Viewing the Menu Editor output on a “real” video monitor is a very helpful feature that enables you to see how your menus will look to your audience. For best results, make sure your video monitor is set up properly.

  • Not all DV devices are created equal. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Video Out feature works well with a transcoder, such as the Canopus ADVC 100. Some DV cameras can only display the Menu Editor on their flip-out viewfinder monitor, which is not all that helpful in terms of determining what the menu will look like to the average viewer. Check for updates at www.adobe.com.

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