high level way to create menubar desktop applications with electron
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Latest commit b587317 Oct 3, 2017
maxogden committed Oct 3, 2017 Merge pull request #183 from arjunsajeev/master
Update electron package in README



High level way to create menubar desktop applications with electron

This module provides boilerplate for setting up a menubar application using electron. all you have to do is point it at your index.html and menubar icon and this will handle opening/closing a window when you click/blur.

Works on Mac OS, Windows and some Linuxes (Tested on Xfce4, your mileage may vary -- patches welcome!)

Mac OS




Build Status


Watch the 1HR screen recording of me coding this module: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAJAvsyaHs0

This module was written for + is used by Monu


npm install menubar --save


create a JS program like this:

var menubar = require('menubar')

var mb = menubar()

mb.on('ready', function ready () {
  console.log('app is ready')
  // your app code here

make sure there is also a index.html file in dir

then use electron or electron-packager to build/run the app:

$ npm install electron -g
$ electron your-app.js

see example/ for a working example

the return value of mb is an event emitter with these properties:

  app: the electron require('app') instance,
  window: the electron require('browser-window') instance,
  tray: the electron require('tray') instance,
  positioner: the electron-positioner instance,
  setOption(option, value): change an option after menubar is created,
  getOption(option): get an menubar option,
  showWindow(): show the menubar window,
  hideWindow(): hide the menubar window


you can pass an optional options object into the menubar constructor

  • dir (default process.cwd()) - the app source directory
  • index (default file:// + opts.dir + index.html) - the html to load for the pop up window
  • icon (default opts.dir + IconTemplate.png) - the png icon to use for the menubar. A good size to start with is 20x20. To support retina, supply a 2x sized image (e.g. 40x40) with @2x added to the end of the name, so icon.png and icon@2x.png and Electron will automatically use your @2x version on retina screens.
  • tooltip (default empty) - menubar tray icon tooltip text
  • tray (default created on-the-fly) - an electron Tray instance. if provided opts.icon will be ignored
  • preloadWindow (default false) - Create BrowserWindow instance before it is used -- increasing resource usage, but making the click on the menubar load faster.
  • width (default 400) - window width
  • height (default 400) - window height
  • x (default null) - the x position of the window
  • y (default null) - the y position of the window
  • alwaysOnTop (default false) - if true, the window will not hide on blur
  • showOnAllWorkspaces (default true) - Makes the window available on all OS X workspaces.
  • windowPosition (default trayCenter and trayBottomCenter on Windows) - Sets the window position (x and y will still override this), check positioner docs for valid values.
  • showDockIcon (default false) - Configure the visibility of the application dock icon.
  • showOnRightClick (default false) - Show the window on 'right-click' event instead of regular 'click'


the return value of the menubar constructor is an event emitter

  • ready - when the app has been created and initialized
  • create-window - the line before new BrowserWindow is called
  • after-create-window - the line after all window init code is done
  • show - the line before window.show is called
  • after-show - the line after window.show is called
  • hide - the line before window.hide is called (on window blur)
  • after-hide - the line after window.hide is called
  • after-close - after the .window (BrowserWindow) property has been deleted
  • focus-lost - emitted if always-on-top option is set and the user clicks away


  • Use mb.on('after-create-window', callback) to run things after your app has loaded. For example you could run mb.window.openDevTools() to open the developer tools for debugging, or load a different URL with mb.window.loadUrl()

  • Use mb.on('focus-lost') if you would like to perform some operation when using the option alwaysOnTop:true

  • To restore focus of previous window after menubar hide, use mb.on('after-hide', () => { mb.app.hide() } ) or similar