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Author Topic: advmenuPLUS - English docs to a lightweight frontend  (Read 884 times)

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advmenuPLUS - English docs to a lightweight frontend
« on: May 10, 2018, 08:46:40 am »
I've been using AdvMenuPLUS for years and its original project, AdvanceMENU for a decade before that. It's a great, lightweight frontend that runs well on Windows XP and low resolution arcade monitors. Most of the documentation for AdvMenuPLUS is in Spanish. This post will guide you through the Windows setup of AdvMenuPLUS in English.


AdvanceMENU is a front end built by Andrea Mazzoleni who also wrote AdvanceMAME. AdvanceMENU can look like this:

AdvMenuPLUS is a fork of AdvanceMENU that adds a number of enhancements. It adds layouts to the interface and does a lot on the backend as well. It supports 7z compressed ROMs, automatically shrinks the mame.xml file for faster front end loading, adds favorite lists among others. It can look like the pictures above, but with layouts, it can look like this:

YouTube video 1
YouTube video 2

Personally, I use a variation of the Tile Normal layout (the very first picture above), but with animated snapshots where only the highlighted game is animated. It looks very slick and it's easier to pick a game from dozens of snapshots on the screen at once than a long list of game names.



  • Download the MinGW-advmenuplus compiler.
  • Extract the compiler to C:\MinGW
  • Download a snapshot of the latest master branch.
  • Extrace the archive.
  • Run compile-win.bat and wait while the program compiles.
  • After compiling, there will be three executables in the same directory as compile-win.bat: advcfg.exe, advv.exe, advmenup.exe
  • Move these three executables to a new folder.
  • Download the required DLLs.
  • Extract the DLLs to the new folder you created above.
  • Run advancemenup.exe and a default advmenup.rc will be created. This is the configuration file you will be new best friends with.


The full documentation for AdvanceMENU goes over everything in detail, but I'll include the basic setup for MAME here. Emulators are added to advancemenup.rc. To add MAME, include this line:

Code: [Select]
emulator "MAME" mame "c:\arcade\mame\mame.exe"
It's as simple as that. AdvMenuPLUS will hang for a few minutes the first time it is run. This is normal. It's actually generating and scrubbing a mame.xml file. Once that's done, it will read in your mame.ini file and process the snap directory for images.


All images must be in either PNG or MNG format. It's difficult to find repositories of MNG files. Hopefully MP4 will be supported soon. Until then, the largest collection of MNG snapshots I could find was on the AdvanceMAME page itself. They are the files. Extract all the files to your MAME/snap directory. The same directory can contain PNG snaps, which will be displayed in AdvMenuPLUS if there is no corresponding MNG file.


Examples of layout files can be downloaded from here. The Spanish documentation can be downloaded as an HTML file here, which can easily be translated to surprisingly readable English in Chrome. Essentially, an AMP file is a text document that maps image files to coordinates on the screen. These AMP files are referenced in advancemenup.rc by an emulator_layout option.


The following was pulled from various forum posts and may not show up in the default advancemenup.rc or published documention.

Code: [Select]
#Change emulator events
event_assign emulator_pre f6
event_assign emulator_next f7

#Remember the selected game of each emulator
rem_selected yes | no

#Options for each emulator
emulator_background "EMULATOR" "IMAGE"
emulator_font "EMULATOR" "SOURCE"
emulator_font_size "EMULATOR" auto | SIZE_Y [SIZE_X]
emulator_help "EMULATOR" none | IMAGE / VIDEO
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 10:59:56 pm by the_77x42 »


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