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Java Standard Edition (SE)



Class JTextField

  • All Implemented Interfaces:
    ImageObserver, MenuContainer, Serializable, Accessible, Scrollable, SwingConstants
    Direct Known Subclasses:
    DefaultTreeCellEditor.DefaultTextField, JFormattedTextField, JPasswordField

    public class JTextField
    extends JTextComponent
    implements SwingConstants
    JTextField is a lightweight component that allows the editing of a single line of text. For information on and examples of using text fields, see How to Use Text Fields in The Java Tutorial.

    JTextField is intended to be source-compatible with java.awt.TextField where it is reasonable to do so. This component has capabilities not found in the java.awt.TextField class. The superclass should be consulted for additional capabilities.

    JTextField has a method to establish the string used as the command string for the action event that gets fired. The java.awt.TextField used the text of the field as the command string for the ActionEvent. JTextField will use the command string set with the setActionCommand method if not null, otherwise it will use the text of the field as a compatibility with java.awt.TextField.

    The method setEchoChar and getEchoChar are not provided directly to avoid a new implementation of a pluggable look-and-feel inadvertently exposing password characters. To provide password-like services a separate class JPasswordField extends JTextField to provide this service with an independently pluggable look-and-feel.

    The java.awt.TextField could be monitored for changes by adding a TextListener for TextEvent's. In the JTextComponent based components, changes are broadcasted from the model via a DocumentEvent to DocumentListeners. The DocumentEvent gives the location of the change and the kind of change if desired. The code fragment might look something like:

         DocumentListener myListener = ??;
         JTextField myArea = ??;

    The horizontal alignment of JTextField can be set to be left justified, leading justified, centered, right justified or trailing justified. Right/trailing justification is useful if the required size of the field text is smaller than the size allocated to it. This is determined by the setHorizontalAlignment and getHorizontalAlignment methods. The default is to be leading justified.

    How the text field consumes VK_ENTER events depends on whether the text field has any action listeners. If so, then VK_ENTER results in the listeners getting an ActionEvent, and the VK_ENTER event is consumed. This is compatible with how AWT text fields handle VK_ENTER events. If the text field has no action listeners, then as of v 1.3 the VK_ENTER event is not consumed. Instead, the bindings of ancestor components are processed, which enables the default button feature of JFC/Swing to work.

    Customized fields can easily be created by extending the model and changing the default model provided. For example, the following piece of code will create a field that holds only upper case characters. It will work even if text is pasted into from the clipboard or it is altered via programmatic changes.

     public class UpperCaseField extends JTextField {
         public UpperCaseField(int cols) {
         protected Document createDefaultModel() {
             return new UpperCaseDocument();
         static class UpperCaseDocument extends PlainDocument {
             public void insertString(int offs, String str, AttributeSet a)
                 throws BadLocationException {
                 if (str == null) {
                 char[] upper = str.toCharArray();
                 for (int i = 0; i < upper.length; i++) {
                     upper[i] = Character.toUpperCase(upper[i]);
                 super.insertString(offs, new String(upper), a);

    Warning: Swing is not thread safe. For more information see Swing's Threading Policy.

    Warning: Serialized objects of this class will not be compatible with future Swing releases. The current serialization support is appropriate for short term storage or RMI between applications running the same version of Swing. As of 1.4, support for long term storage of all JavaBeans™ has been added to the java.beans package. Please see XMLEncoder.

    See Also:
    setActionCommand(java.lang.String), JPasswordField, addActionListener(java.awt.event.ActionListener)
    • Field Detail

      • notifyAction

        public static final String notifyAction
        Name of the action to send notification that the contents of the field have been accepted. Typically this is bound to a carriage-return.
        See Also:
        Constant Field Values
    • Constructor Detail

      • JTextField

        public JTextField()
        Constructs a new TextField. A default model is created, the initial string is null, and the number of columns is set to 0.
      • JTextField

        public JTextField(String text)
        Constructs a new TextField initialized with the specified text. A default model is created and the number of columns is 0.
        text - the text to be displayed, or null
      • JTextField

        public JTextField(int columns)
        Constructs a new empty TextField with the specified number of columns. A default model is created and the initial string is set to null.
        columns - the number of columns to use to calculate the preferred width; if columns is set to zero, the preferred width will be whatever naturally results from the component implementation
      • JTextField

        public JTextField(String text,
                          int columns)
        Constructs a new TextField initialized with the specified text and columns. A default model is created.
        text - the text to be displayed, or null
        columns - the number of columns to use to calculate the preferred width; if columns is set to zero, the preferred width will be whatever naturally results from the component implementation
      • JTextField

        public JTextField(Document doc,
                          String text,
                          int columns)
        Constructs a new JTextField that uses the given text storage model and the given number of columns. This is the constructor through which the other constructors feed. If the document is null, a default model is created.
        doc - the text storage to use; if this is null, a default will be provided by calling the createDefaultModel method
        text - the initial string to display, or null
        columns - the number of columns to use to calculate the preferred width >= 0; if columns is set to zero, the preferred width will be whatever naturally results from the component implementation
        IllegalArgumentException - if columns < 0
    • Method Detail

      • setDocument

        public void setDocument(Document doc)
        Associates the editor with a text document. The currently registered factory is used to build a view for the document, which gets displayed by the editor after revalidation. A PropertyChange event ("document") is propagated to each listener.
        setDocument in class JTextComponent
        doc - the document to display/edit
        See Also:
      • getHorizontalAlignment

        public int getHorizontalAlignment()
        Returns the horizontal alignment of the text. Valid keys are:
        • JTextField.LEFT
        • JTextField.CENTER
        • JTextField.RIGHT
        • JTextField.LEADING
        • JTextField.TRAILING
        the horizontal alignment
      • setHorizontalAlignment

        public void setHorizontalAlignment(int alignment)
        Sets the horizontal alignment of the text. Valid keys are:
        • JTextField.LEFT
        • JTextField.CENTER
        • JTextField.RIGHT
        • JTextField.LEADING
        • JTextField.TRAILING
        invalidate and repaint are called when the alignment is set, and a PropertyChange event ("horizontalAlignment") is fired.
        alignment - the alignment
        IllegalArgumentException - if alignment is not a valid key
      • createDefaultModel

        protected Document createDefaultModel()
        Creates the default implementation of the model to be used at construction if one isn't explicitly given. An instance of PlainDocument is returned.
        the default model implementation
      • getColumns

        public int getColumns()
        Returns the number of columns in this TextField.
        the number of columns >= 0
      • setColumns

        public void setColumns(int columns)
        Sets the number of columns in this TextField, and then invalidate the layout.
        columns - the number of columns >= 0
        IllegalArgumentException - if columns is less than 0
      • getColumnWidth

        protected int getColumnWidth()
        Returns the column width. The meaning of what a column is can be considered a fairly weak notion for some fonts. This method is used to define the width of a column. By default this is defined to be the width of the character m for the font used. This method can be redefined to be some alternative amount
        the column width >= 1
      • setFont

        public void setFont(Font f)
        Sets the current font. This removes cached row height and column width so the new font will be reflected. revalidate is called after setting the font.
        setFont in class JComponent
        f - the new font
        See Also:
      • addActionListener

        public void addActionListener(ActionListener l)
        Adds the specified action listener to receive action events from this textfield.
        l - the action listener to be added
      • removeActionListener

        public void removeActionListener(ActionListener l)
        Removes the specified action listener so that it no longer receives action events from this textfield.
        l - the action listener to be removed
      • getActionListeners

        public ActionListener[] getActionListeners()
        Returns an array of all the ActionListeners added to this JTextField with addActionListener().
        all of the ActionListeners added or an empty array if no listeners have been added
      • fireActionPerformed

        protected void fireActionPerformed()
        Notifies all listeners that have registered interest for notification on this event type. The event instance is lazily created. The listener list is processed in last to first order.
        See Also:
      • setActionCommand

        public void setActionCommand(String command)
        Sets the command string used for action events.
        command - the command string
      • setAction

        public void setAction(Action a)
        Sets the Action for the ActionEvent source. The new Action replaces any previously set Action but does not affect ActionListeners independently added with addActionListener. If the Action is already a registered ActionListener for the ActionEvent source, it is not re-registered.

        Setting the Action results in immediately changing all the properties described in Swing Components Supporting Action. Subsequently, the textfield's properties are automatically updated as the Action's properties change.

        This method uses three other methods to set and help track the Action's property values. It uses the configurePropertiesFromAction method to immediately change the textfield's properties. To track changes in the Action's property values, this method registers the PropertyChangeListener returned by createActionPropertyChangeListener. The default PropertyChangeListener invokes the actionPropertyChanged method when a property in the Action changes.

        a - the Action for the JTextField, or null
        See Also:
        Action, getAction(), configurePropertiesFromAction(javax.swing.Action), createActionPropertyChangeListener(javax.swing.Action), actionPropertyChanged(javax.swing.Action, java.lang.String)
      • getAction

        public Action getAction()
        Returns the currently set Action for this ActionEvent source, or null if no Action is set.
        the Action for this ActionEvent source, or null
        See Also:
        Action, setAction(javax.swing.Action)
      • configurePropertiesFromAction

        protected void configurePropertiesFromAction(Action a)
        Sets the properties on this textfield to match those in the specified Action. Refer to Swing Components Supporting Action for more details as to which properties this sets.
        a - the Action from which to get the properties, or null
        See Also:
        Action, setAction(javax.swing.Action)
      • actionPropertyChanged

        protected void actionPropertyChanged(Action action,
                                             String propertyName)
        Updates the textfield's state in response to property changes in associated action. This method is invoked from the PropertyChangeListener returned from createActionPropertyChangeListener. Subclasses do not normally need to invoke this. Subclasses that support additional Action properties should override this and configurePropertiesFromAction.

        Refer to the table at Swing Components Supporting Action for a list of the properties this method sets.

        action - the Action associated with this textfield
        propertyName - the name of the property that changed
        See Also:
        Action, configurePropertiesFromAction(javax.swing.Action)
      • createActionPropertyChangeListener

        protected PropertyChangeListener createActionPropertyChangeListener(Action a)
        Creates and returns a PropertyChangeListener that is responsible for listening for changes from the specified Action and updating the appropriate properties.

        Warning: If you subclass this do not create an anonymous inner class. If you do the lifetime of the textfield will be tied to that of the Action.

        a - the textfield's action
        See Also:
        Action, setAction(javax.swing.Action)
      • getActions

        public Action[] getActions()
        Fetches the command list for the editor. This is the list of commands supported by the plugged-in UI augmented by the collection of commands that the editor itself supports. These are useful for binding to events, such as in a keymap.
        getActions in class JTextComponent
        the command list
      • postActionEvent

        public void postActionEvent()
        Processes action events occurring on this textfield by dispatching them to any registered ActionListener objects. This is normally called by the controller registered with textfield.
      • getHorizontalVisibility

        public BoundedRangeModel getHorizontalVisibility()
        Gets the visibility of the text field. This can be adjusted to change the location of the visible area if the size of the field is greater than the area that was allocated to the field.

        The fields look-and-feel implementation manages the values of the minimum, maximum, and extent properties on the BoundedRangeModel.

        the visibility
        See Also:
      • getScrollOffset

        public int getScrollOffset()
        Gets the scroll offset, in pixels.
        the offset >= 0
      • setScrollOffset

        public void setScrollOffset(int scrollOffset)
        Sets the scroll offset, in pixels.
        scrollOffset - the offset >= 0
      • paramString

        protected String paramString()
        Returns a string representation of this JTextField. This method is intended to be used only for debugging purposes, and the content and format of the returned string may vary between implementations. The returned string may be empty but may not be null.
        paramString in class JTextComponent
        a string representation of this JTextField
      • getAccessibleContext

        public AccessibleContext getAccessibleContext()
        Gets the AccessibleContext associated with this JTextField. For JTextFields, the AccessibleContext takes the form of an AccessibleJTextField. A new AccessibleJTextField instance is created if necessary.
        Specified by:
        getAccessibleContext in interface Accessible
        getAccessibleContext in class JTextComponent
        an AccessibleJTextField that serves as the AccessibleContext of this JTextField


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