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Note  The existing menubar is a hard-coded feature implemented using PLIB/PUI which we are hoping to get rid of eventually to help us Unifying the 2D rendering backend via canvas for better portability and performance. The PUI menubar can be partially customized by editing PropertyList/XML files for adding entries and styling purposes, but is otherwise fairly inflexible and doesn't support modern widgets like checkboxes, or even just sub-menus.

As of 09/2014, this feature is in the process of being ported to Canvas, for details please check out Howto:Making a Canvas Menubar.

The in-game menubar of FlightGear is located at the top of the screen.

Menu items

Add items

To add a menu for a specific plane only you have to enhance the planes -set.xml file. Add the follow lines (example for the livery selection dialog in a Boeing 787), or any item that you want to show, above the </sim> tag. You can add as many items and menus as you like, but keep the menubar as small as possible, the larger the outside view will be.

   <menu n="100">
   <label>Boeing 787</label>
   <enabled type="bool">true</enabled>
     <label>Select Livery</label>
  • menu n="100": creates an extra menu item, at the end of the menubar, needs to be start in 100.
  • the prefix 'aircraft' is coming from the tagname you choose inside the <nasal> section, eg:

Use only characters that could be used to name and call a nasal function (eg: the '-' character is not valid).


It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Howto:Create a custom GUI style#Creating your custom GUI style. Discuss this merge. This has been proposed since October 2020.

The menubar is available in various styles. Currently there are two styles (both are shown below) packaged with FlightGear. The lower one is standard, since FlightGear 1.0.0. You can switch between styles by pressing Shift-F10.



Creating your own

1rightarrow.png See Howto:Create a custom GUI style for the main article about this subject.

PUI fonts broken

It's very easy to make your own designs. Just copy one of the files that you find in $FG_ROOT/gui/styles and change it to your needs. Then, edit the follwing code in the $FG_ROOT/preferences.xml file to fit your style. You could simply add a line like <style n="0" include="gui/styles/anthrax.xml"/>. The current-style tag specifies the style that should be used when FlightGear loads.

   <current-style type="int" userarchive="y">1</current-style>
   <style n="0" include="gui/styles/classic.xml"/>
   <style n="1" include="gui/styles/anthrax.xml"/>
   <devel-widgets type="bool" userarchive="y">false</devel-widgets>

Flickering Menubar text under Rembrandt / ALS

Due to problems that appear to be related to the internal bitmapped font not being rendering correctly on certain graphics card (e.g. AMD R9 290) it may be necessary to change the GUI style to use the TXF format[1] fonts.

If there is an option on the Debug menu called *cycle gui* use this, ensure that you are using GUI style 1, i.e. in the preferences, or autosave the gui section should be as followed

      <current-style type="int">1</current-style>
      <devel-widgets type="bool">false</devel-widgets>

How to Change the Default Menubar Font Size

For those using bigger monitors or higher resolutions it may be necessary to increase the font size of the menubar. The change below can be applied and should be made before launching.

--- flightgear-data/fgdata/gui/styles/anthrax.xml.orig       2014-04-24 19:52:04.353028047 -0800
+++ flightgear-data/fgdata/gui/styles/anthrax.xml            2014-04-24 19:57:12.548002672 -0800
@@ -11,7 +11,7 @@
-                       <name type="string">HELVETICA_12</name>
+                       <name type="string">HELVETICA_18</name>
                        <baseline-height type="float">21</baseline-height>

Fonts available are based on what is installed in fgdata/Fonts in the tfx format.