IntelliJ IDEA 14.0.0 Web Help

Components Properties

The gray shaded section of the Inspector provides a set of properties that are proprietary to the GUI Designer and used by its code generation and other processes.

When a component is added to a form, it can be created as a component or as a container. In the latter case, such component acquires certain properties that are specific to the containers only. In the tables below the properties that pertain to the containers are specially noted.

In this section you will find descriptions of the following groups of properties:

Properties are layout-specific. Some of the properties can be missing for certain layout managers.

Code binding properties

The properties covered in this section are related to binding of GUI forms and components to source code.

Property Description

bind to class

This is a property of Forms only. It specifies the name of a class that contains the logic to make the form work. When this property is set to a valid class, we say the Form is bound to the class.

If no target class exists yet, you can still type in the name of this future class. IntelliJ IDEA will offer a Quick Fix to create a class of the specified name for you whenever the property is focused. You can use the Quick Fix to create the class whenever you are ready.

See sections Binding Form to Existing Class and Binding Form to a New Class.

field name This is a property of components. It specifies the name of the field in the parent form's class to which the component is bound. For most components, a default field name is automatically entered, and a corresponding declaration is written to the Form's bound source file. You can change the default field name in the Inspector if you wish, and the source will be updated automatically. You can optionally change the field name in the source file, and the change will reflect in the Inspector when you return to the GUI Designer.
Custom Create This is a property of components. If the option is checked, it means that you want to call a non-default constructor for the component, rather than have the GUI Designer generate a default constructor during the runtime build of the GUI. Code generation will ignore the component and assume you have written a constructor method. See Creating Form Initialization Code.

If a non-default constructor does not yet exist, IntelliJ IDEA will show you a Quick Fix whenever the Custom Create property is focused in the Inspector. You can use this to create the constructor in the source file bound to the parent Form.

Component sizing properties

The properties described in this section affect how components are sized at design time and/or runtime.

Property Subproperty Description
Horizontal Size Policy
Vertical Size Policy
These properties define how dimensions of a component are affected by resizing of its container along the horizontal axis and vertical axis respectively. This property applies to the GridLayoutManager (IntelliJ) and has the following subproperties:
canShrink The element size can be diminished (less than the preferred size) when the pane is resized.
canGrow The element size can be enlarged when the pane is resized.
wantGrow The element size is enlarged when the pane is resized. This flag takes precedence over canGrow.

These options can be set simultaneously.

Same Size Horizontally This is the property of a container that wraps the component. When the option is checked, all columns in the layout grid are always sized equally. Applicable only to the GridLayoutManager(IntelliJ).
Same Size Vertically This is the property of a container that wraps the component. When the option is checked, all rows in the layout grid are always sized equally. Applicable only in the GridLayoutManager(IntelliJ).
Minimum Size
Preferred Size
Maximum Size
For the Swing layout managers, these properties are the same as in Java SDK.

For the layout managers GridLayoutManager(IntelliJ) and FormLayout, these properties are different from those used in the Java SDK. To be more specific, they are not actual properties but a part of constraints with which a component is added to a container. Such feature enables you to set a size value only for 1 dimension.

For instance, if you set Preferred Size values as 200; -1 - it means that the component height will be calculated dynamically and the width value will be used as the preferred size. In effect it is like the Java statement:

getPreferredSize().height();

Layout and alignment properties

The properties described in this section control various aspects of component layout and/or alignment.

Property Subproperty Description
Layout Manager This is a property of container type components only (e.g. JPanel, JScrollPane). The setting controls which layout manager the container uses. The setting affects both design-time and runtime. Find the list of supported layout managers in the section GUI Designer Options of the Settings dialog.
border Defines how the component border and (optional) title will look. Applies to container type components only, and includes the following subproperties:
type Specifies the bevel characteristics of the element border.
  • None. No border. If title is specified, it will be hidden.
  • Empty. No border properties specified.
  • Bevel Lowered. Border bevel will make container look lowered.
  • Bevel Raised. Border bevel will make container look raised.
  • Etched. The container appears flat with an etched or 3D border.
title Optionally specify a string to appear as the container's title at runtime. You can enter a string literal directly in the edit field, or click the ellipsis button to open a dialog where you can either hard-code a string value, or specify the identifier of a resource.
title justification Controls how the text of title is justified.
  • Default. The justification is determined at compile-time.
  • Left. Force left-justified text.
  • Center. Force centered text.
  • Right. Force right-justified text.
  • Leading. For use with locales requiring leading justification.
  • Trailing. For locales requiring trailing justification.
title position Controls where the title is positioned with respect to the container border. Horizontal position of the text is controlled by title justification setting. Default, Above Top, Top, Below Top, Above Bottom, Bottom, Below Bottom, as shown on the following images:
img
img
title font Controls the font used for displaying the text of the title.
title color Controls the color of the font used for displaying the text of the title. The ellipsis button launches a color picker dialog, where you can choose a color from one of several palettes (AWT, Swing, System), or specify an RGB or HSB color value, or select a color from a graphical set of color Swatches.
margins This property of JPanel controls the amount of spacing between the outer border of the container, and its contents. Applies to FormLayout and GridLayoutManager(IntelliJ).
Top
Right
Bottom
Left
Each attribute controls the spacing at the respective edge of the pane. The value of each attribute is an integer which specifies the number of pixels in the respective spacing. Zero means no space.
Horizontal Gap
Vertical Gap
This is a property of JPanel only and has effect only when the pane uses a grid type layout manager such as the default GridLayoutManager. The property defines the pixel dimension of a space inset between the edge of a grid cell in the pane, and the edge of a contained component (a JRadiobutton, for example).

The default value is -1, which indicates the default spacing. You can enter zero or any positive integer value and see the result at design time.

For Vertical Gap to have any effect, the layout grid should have at least 2 rows.

Horizontal Align This property determines the relative horizontal position of a component within its container. Select a value from the drop-down list:
  • Left. The left-hand edge of the component snaps to the left border of its container.
  • Center. The component is centered horizontally within its container.
  • Right. The right-hand edge of the component snaps to the right border of its container.
  • Fill. The component fills its container's horizontal space entirely.
Vertical Align This property determines the relative vertical position of a component within its container. Select a value from the drop-down list:
  • Top. The top edge of the component snaps to the top border of its container.
  • Center. The component is centered vertically within its container.
  • Bottom. The bottom edge of the component snaps to the bottom border of its container.
  • Fill. The component fills its container's vertical space entirely.
Indent This property is only applicable for GridLayoutManager. Valid values are zero or any positive integer. The selected component is shifted to the right by the specified number of pixels times ten. For example, if you enter 12, the indent will be 120 pixels (12 * 10).
Align Grid with Parent This is a property of panes and applicable with grid type layout managers. When checked, it means that grid columns and rows in a child (nested) container always align with the rows and columns of the parent container. If not checked, the grid columns and rows of a child container may be aligned independently:
img
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Other properties

This section describes other GUI Designer properties that are not classified any other way.

Item Description
Client Properties This is a property with configurable sub-properties. If you develop your own components, you can configure a Custom Property in the GUI Designer to support it. Refer to the section Customizing Client Properties.

See Also

Last modified: 4 December 2014
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