The JavaFX User Interface Controls (UI Controls or just Controls) are
specialized Nodes in the JavaFX Scenegraph especially suited for reuse in
many different application contexts. They are designed to be highly
customizable visually by designers and developers. They are designed to work
well with layout systems. Examples of prominent controls include
Since Controls are
Nodes in the scenegraph,
they can be freely mixed with
basic geometric shapes. While
writing new UI Controls is not trivial, using and styling them
is very easy, especially to existing web developers.
The remainder of this document will describe the basic architecture of the JavaFX UI Control library, how to style existing controls, write custom skins, and how to use controls to build up more complicated user interfaces.
Controls follow the classic MVC design pattern. The
the "model". It contains both the state and the functions which manipulate
that state. The Control class itself does not know how it is rendered or
what the user interaction is. These tasks are delegated to the
Skin ("view"), which may internally separate
out the view and controller functionality into separate classes, although
at present there is no public API for the "controller" aspect.
All Controls extend from the Control class, which is in turn a
Parent node, and which is a
Node. Every Control has a reference to a single Skin, which
is the view implementation for the Control. The Control delegates to the
Skin the responsibility of computing the min, max, and pref sizes of the
Control, the baseline offset, and hit testing (containment and
intersection). It is also the responsibility of the Skin, or a delegate of
the Skin, to implement and repond to all relevant key
events which occur on the Control when it contains the focus.
Control extends from
Parent, and as such, is
not a leaf node. From the perspective of a developer or designer the Control
can be thought of as if it were a leaf node in many cases. For example, the
developer or designer can consider a Button as if it were a Rectangle or
other simple leaf node.
Since a Control is resizable, a Control will be auto-sized to its preferred size on each scenegraph pulse. Setting the width and height of the Control does not affect its preferred size. When used in a layout container, the layout constraints imposed upon the Control (or manually specified on the Control) will determine how it is positioned and sized.
The Skin of a Control can be changed at any time. Doing so will mark the Control as needing to be laid out since changing the Skin likely has changed the preferred size of the Control. If no Skin is specified at the time that the Control is created, then a default CSS-based skin will be provided for all of the built-in Controls.
Each Control may have an optional tooltip specified. The Tooltip is a Control which displays some (usually textual) information about the control to the user when the mouse hovers over the Control from some period of time. It can be styled from CSS the same as with other Controls.
focusTraversable is overridden in Control to be true by default,
whereas with Node it is false by default. Controls which should not be
focusable by default (such as Label) override this to be false.
The getMinWidth, getMinHeight, getPrefWidth, getPrefHeight, getMaxWidth, and getMaxHeight functions are delegated directly to the Skin. The baselineOffset method is delegated to the node of the skin. It is not recommended that subclasses alter these delegations.
There are two methods for customizing the look of a Control. The most difficult and yet most flexible approach is to write a new Skin for the Control which precisely implements the visuals which you desire for the Control. Consult the Skin documentation for more details.
The easiest and yet very powerful method for styling the built in Controls is by using CSS. Please note that in this release the following CSS description applies only to the default Skins provided for the built in Controls. Subsequent releases will make this generally available for any custom third party Controls which desire to take advantage of these CSS capabilities.
Each of the default Skins for the built in Controls is comprised of multiple individually styleable areas or regions. This is much like an HTML page which is made up of <div>'s and then styled from CSS. Each individual region may be drawn with backgrounds, borders, images, padding, margins, and so on. The JavaFX CSS support includes the ability to have multiple backgrounds and borders, and to derive colors. These capabilities make it extremely easy to alter the look of Controls in JavaFX from CSS.
The colors used for drawing the default Skins of the built in Controls are all derived from a base color, an accent color and a background color. Simply by modifying the base color for a Control you can alter the derived gradients and create Buttons or other Controls which visually fit in with the default Skins but visually stand out.
As with all other Nodes in the scenegraph, Controls can be styled by using an external stylesheet, or by specifying the style directly on the Control. Although for examples it is easier to express and understand by specifying the style directly on the Node, it is recommended to use an external stylesheet and use either the styleClass or id of the Control, just as you would use the "class" or id of an HTML element with HTML CSS.
Each UI Control specifies a styleClass which may be used to style controls from an external stylesheet. For example, the Button control is given the "button" CSS style class. The CSS style class names are hyphen-separated lower case as opposed to camel case, otherwise, they are exactly the same. For example, Button is "button", RadioButton is "radio-button", Tooltip is "tooltip" and so on.
The class documentation for each Control defines the default Skin regions which can be styled. For further information regarding the CSS capabilities provided with JavaFX, see the CSS Reference Guide.
Interface Summary Interface Description Skin<C extends Skinnable>Base class for defining the visual representation of user interface controls by defining a scene graph of nodes to represent the skin. SkinnableThe Skinnable interface is implemented by the
Controlclass, and therefore is implemented by all Control implementations.
TextInputControl.ContentInterface representing a text input's content. ToggleRepresents a control that can be toggled between selected and non-selected states.
Class Summary Class Description AccordionAn accordion is a group of
AlertThe Alert class subclasses the
Dialogclass, and provides support for a number of pre-built dialog types that can be easily shown to users to prompt for a response.
ButtonA simple button control. ButtonBarA ButtonBar is essentially a
HBox, with the additional functionality for operating system specific button placement.
ButtonBaseBase class for button-like UI Controls, including Hyperlinks, Buttons, ToggleButtons, CheckBoxes, and RadioButtons. ButtonTypeThe ButtonType class is used as part of the JavaFX
DialogAPI (more specifically, the
DialogPaneAPI) to specify which buttons should be shown to users in the dialogs.
Cell<T> CheckBoxA tri-state selection Control typically skinned as a box with a checkmark or tick mark when checked. CheckBoxTreeItem<T>TreeItem subclass that adds support for being in selected, unselected, and indeterminate states. CheckBoxTreeItem.TreeModificationEvent<T>A TreeModificationEvent class that works in a similar vein to the
TreeItem.TreeModificationEventclass, in that this event will bubble up the CheckBoxTreeItem hierarchy, until the parent node is null.
MenuItemthat can be toggled between selected and unselected states.
ChoiceBox<T>The ChoiceBox is used for presenting the user with a relatively small set of predefined choices from which they may choose. ChoiceDialog<T>A dialog that shows a list of choices to the user, from which they can pick one item at most. ColorPickerColorPicker control allows the user to select a color from either a standard palette of colors with a simple one click selection OR define their own custom color. ComboBox<T>An implementation of the
ComboBoxBaseabstract class for the most common form of ComboBox, where a popup list is shown to users providing them with a choice that they may select from.
ComboBoxBase<T>Abstract base class for ComboBox-like controls. ContextMenuA popup control containing an ObservableList of menu items. ControlBase class for all user interface controls. CustomMenuItem DateCellDateCell is used by
DatePickerto render the individual grid cells in the calendar month.
DatePickerThe DatePicker control allows the user to enter a date as text or to select a date from a calendar popup. Dialog<R>A Dialog in JavaFX wraps a
DialogPaneand provides the necessary API to present it to end users.
DialogEventEvent related to dialog showing/hiding actions. DialogPaneDialogPane should be considered to be the root node displayed within a
FocusModel<T>The abstract base class for FocusModel implementations. HyperlinkAn HTML like label which can be a graphic and/or text which responds to rollovers and clicks. IndexedCell<T>An implementation of
Cellwhich contains an index property which maps into the data model underlying the visualization.
IndexRangeClass representing a contiguous range of integral values. LabelLabel is a non-editable text control. LabeledA Labeled
Controlis one which has as part of its user interface a textual content associated with it.
ListCell<T> ListView<T>A ListView displays a horizontal or vertical list of items from which the user may select, or with which the user may interact. ListView.EditEvent<T>An
Eventsubclass used specifically in ListView for representing edit-related events.
MenuA popup menu of actionable items which is displayed to the user only upon request. MenuBarA MenuBar control traditionally is placed at the very top of the user interface, and embedded within it are
MenuButtonMenuButton is a button which, when clicked or pressed, will show a
MenuItemMenuItem is intended to be used in conjunction with
Menuto provide options to users.
MultipleSelectionModel<T>An abstract class that extends
SelectionModelto add API to support multiple selection.
PaginationA Pagination control is used for navigation between pages of a single content, which has been divided into smaller parts. PasswordFieldText field that masks entered characters. PopupControlAn extension of PopupWindow that allows for CSS styling. ProgressBarA specialization of the ProgressIndicator which is represented as a horizontal bar. ProgressIndicatorA circular control which is used for indicating progress, either infinite (aka indeterminate) or finite. RadioButtonRadioButtons create a series of items where only one item can be selected. RadioMenuItem ResizeFeaturesBase<S>An immutable wrapper class for use by the column resize policies offered by controls such as
ScrollBarEither a horizontal or vertical bar with increment and decrement buttons and a "thumb" with which the user can interact. ScrollPaneA Control that provides a scrolled, clipped viewport of its contents. ScrollToEvent<T>Event related to
ScrollPaneand virtualised controls such as
SelectionModel<T>SelectionModel is an abstract class used by UI controls to provide a consistent API for maintaining selection. SeparatorA horizontal or vertical separator line. SeparatorMenuItemA
MenuItemthat as the name suggests allows for a horizontal Separator to be embedded within it, by assigning a
contentproperty of the
CustomMenuItemThis is provided for convenience as groups of
menuitemscan be separated by a separator.
SingleSelectionModel<T>A SelectionModel which enforces the requirement that only a single index be selected at any given time. SkinBase<C extends Control>Base implementation class for defining the visual representation of user interface controls by defining a scene graph of nodes to represent the
SliderThe Slider Control is used to display a continuous or discrete range of valid numeric choices and allows the user to interact with the control. SortEvent<C>Event related to
Spinner<T>A single line text field that lets the user select a number or an object value from an ordered sequence. SpinnerValueFactory<T>The SpinnerValueFactory is the model behind the JavaFX
Spinner control- without a value factory installed a Spinner is unusable.
SpinnerValueFactoryimplementation designed to iterate through double values.
SpinnerValueFactoryimplementation designed to iterate through integer values.
SpinnerValueFactoryimplementation designed to iterate through a list of values.
SplitMenuButtonThe SplitMenuButton, like the
MenuButtonis closely associated with the concept of selecting a
MenuItemfrom a menu.
SplitPaneA control that has two or more sides, each separated by a divider, which can be dragged by the user to give more space to one of the sides, resulting in the other side shrinking by an equal amount. SplitPane.DividerRepresents a single divider in the SplitPane. TabTabs are placed within a
TabPane, where each tab represents a single 'page'.
TableCell<S,T>Represents a single row/column intersection in a
TableViewis made up of a number of TableColumn instances.
TableColumn.CellDataFeatures<S,T>A support class used in TableColumn as a wrapper class to provide all necessary information for a particular
TableColumn.CellEditEvent<S,T>An event that is fired when a user performs an edit on a table cell. TableColumnBase<S,T>Table-like controls (such as
TreeTableView) are made up of zero or more instances of a concrete TableColumnBase subclass (
TableFocusModel<T,TC extends TableColumnBase<T,?>>The abstract base class for FocusModel implementations that are used within table-like controls (most notably
TablePosition<S,T>This class is used to represent a single row/column/cell in a TableView. TablePositionBase<TC extends TableColumnBase>This class is used to represent a single row/column/cell in a table. TableRow<T>TableRow is an
IndexedCell, but rarely needs to be used by developers creating TableView instances.
TableSelectionModel<T>The abstract base class for MultipleSelectionModel implementations that are used within table-like controls (most notably
TableView<S>The TableView control is designed to visualize an unlimited number of rows of data, broken out into columns. TableView.ResizeFeatures<S>An immutable wrapper class for use in the TableView
FocusModelwith additional functionality to support the requirements of a TableView control.
TableView.TableViewSelectionModel<S>A simple extension of the
SelectionModelabstract class to allow for special support for TableView controls.
TabPaneA control that allows switching between a group of
TextAreaText input component that allows a user to enter multiple lines of plain text. TextFieldText input component that allows a user to enter a single line of unformatted text. TextFormatter<V>A Formatter describes a format of a
TextInputControltext by using two distinct mechanisms: A filter (
TextFormatter.getFilter()) that can intercept and modify user input.
TextFormatter.ChangeContains the state representing a change in the content or selection for a TextInputControl. TextInputControlAbstract base class for text input controls. TextInputDialogA dialog that shows a text input control to the user. TitledPaneA TitledPane is a panel with a title that can be opened and closed. ToggleButtonA
ToggleButtonis a specialized control which has the ability to be selected.
ToggleGroupA class which contains a reference to all
selectedvariables should be managed such that only a single
ToggleGroupmay be selected at any one time.
ToolBarA ToolBar is a control which displays items horizontally or vertically. TooltipTooltips are common UI elements which are typically used for showing additional information about a Node in the scenegraph when the Node is hovered over by the mouse. TreeCell<T> TreeItem<T>The model for a single node supplying a hierarchy of values to a control such as
Eventthat contains relevant information for all forms of TreeItem modifications.
TreeTableCell<S,T>Represents a single row/column intersection in a
TreeTableViewis made up of a number of TreeTableColumn instances.
TreeTableColumn.CellDataFeatures<S,T>A support class used in TreeTableColumn as a wrapper class to provide all necessary information for a particular
TreeTableColumn.CellEditEvent<S,T>An event that is fired when a user performs an edit on a table cell. TreeTablePosition<S,T>This class is used to represent a single row/column/cell in a TreeTableView. TreeTableRow<T>TreeTableRow is an
IndexedCell, but rarely needs to be used by developers creating TreeTableView instances.
TreeTableView<S>The TreeTableView control is designed to visualize an unlimited number of rows of data, broken out into columns. TreeTableView.EditEvent<S>An
Eventsubclass used specifically in TreeTableView for representing edit-related events.
TreeTableView.ResizeFeatures<S>An immutable wrapper class for use in the TableView
FocusModelwith additional functionality to support the requirements of a TableView control.
TreeTableView.TreeTableViewSelectionModel<S>A simple extension of the
SelectionModelabstract class to allow for special support for TreeTableView controls.
TreeView<T>The TreeView control provides a view on to a tree root (of type
Eventsubclass used specifically in TreeView for representing edit-related events.
Enum Summary Enum Description Alert.AlertTypeAn enumeration containing the available, pre-built alert types that the
Alertclass can use to pre-populate various properties.
ButtonBar.ButtonDataAn enumeration of all available button data annotations. ContentDisplayThe position to place the content within a Label. OverrunStyleDefines the behavior of a labeled Control when the space for rendering the text is smaller than the space needed to render the entire string. ScrollPane.ScrollBarPolicyAn enumeration denoting the policy to be used by a scrollable Control in deciding whether to show a scroll bar. SelectionModeAn enumeration used to specify how many items may be selected in a
TableColumn.SortTypeEnumeration that specifies the type of sorting being applied to a specific column. TabPane.TabClosingPolicyThis specifies how the TabPane handles tab closing from an end-users perspective. TabPane.TabDragPolicyThis enum specifies drag policies for tabs in a TabPane. TreeSortModeSpecifies how the tree items in tree-like UI controls should be sorted. TreeTableColumn.SortTypeEnumeration that specifies the type of sorting being applied to a specific column.