ActionScript pie menu

Since the flash player hijacks the second mouse button for its own context menu and there are rumored to be some obscure, barely relevant platforms like, ahem, Apple, that don't offer one to begin with I needed to come up with another solution for context menus. I came up with pie menus that open when you click and hold the left mouse button. You can choose a button by moving over it and releasing the mouse.

It features smooth tweening transitions and fades, a subtle 3D effect, a text help when hovering over an option for a second and an arbitrary number of buttons and icons. The final version will likely also have sounds.

This is all plumbing work for Operation Survival for which I want an intuitive, non-intrusive user interface.

Please try it and tell me what you think!


  1. I like it. It looks nice and is quite intuitive to use.

  2. I don't like pie menus. I read from top to bottom and from left to right. A pie menu forces me to read in a circle. That makes me slower then necessary.
    The second problem is that they don't work well at the border of the screen.
    The third problem is the keyboard navigation.
    Apart from that your implementation looks nice, but graphics needs some work. Gray 3D buttons are so old school.

  3. @Tobi: Reading them is slow, yes. But I think the point is that you'll soon stop reading them at all and just use them blindly. And for that they are better than regular context menus because it's easier to jerk the mouse in the general "top right" direction than to stop at a precise point on a linear scale.

    Border of the screen. True. I don't think there is a solution for that. Other than point one: You use it blindly and don't care whether it's actually displayed in full.

    Keyboard navigation. True. But I don't think keyboard navigation is very relevant for context menus because you need a mouse for pointing to the object of interest in the first place.

    Lastly - do you have any alternative solution for context menus in flash?

    Thanks for your comments,


    PS: I am old (school)! At least it has fancy animated thingies! ;-)

  4. I like this. Can you share source code? I will start working on a pie-menu for flex. Maybe this could help me to start with...

  5. Sure. Check out the source code at sourceforge: