JBuilder plug-in

This plug-in integrates JFormDesigner into JBuilder 2006. For JBuilder 2007 (or later) use the Eclipse plug-in. For JBuilder 2005 use JFormDesigner 4.


Using this plug-in has following benefits compared to JFormDesigner stand-alone edition:

  • Fully integrated as editor for JFormDesigner .jfd files. Create and design forms within JBuilder. No need to switch between applications.
  • Uses the source folders and classpath of the current JBuilder project. No need to specify them twice.
  • The Java code generator updates the .java file in-memory on each change in the designer. You can design forms and edit its source code without the need to save them (as necessary when using JFormDesigner stand-alone edition).
  • Folding of generated GUI code in Java editor.
  • Go to event handler method in Java editor.
  • Two-way synchronization of localized strings in designer and in properties file editors. Changing localized strings in the designer immediately updates the .properties file in-memory and changing the .properties file updates the designer.
  • Copy needed libraries (JGoodies Forms, TableLayout, etc) to the project and add them to the classpath of the current JBuilder project. Optionally include source code and javadoc.
  • Convert JBuilder forms (jbInit() methods) to JFormDesigner .jfd files.

User interface

The screenshot below shows the JBuilder main window editing a JFormDesigner form.

JBuilder main window

A JFormDesigner editor consists of:

  • Toolbar: Located at top of the editor area.
  • Palette: Located at the left side.
  • Design View: Located at the center.
  • Structure View: Located at the lower left.
  • Properties View: Located at the right side.
  • Bindings View: Located below the Design view. This view is not visible by default. Click the Show Bindings View button () in the toolbar to make is visible.
  • Error Log View: Automatically opens on errors in a tool window at the bottom. This view is not visible in the above screenshot.

Creating new forms

You can create new forms using JBuilder's object gallery. Click the New arrow in the toolbar and choose JFormDesigner Form.

New Form Menu

In the New JFormDesigner Form dialog, enter the form name (which is also used as class name), choose a superclass, a layout manager and set localization options.

Open forms for editing

You can open existing forms the same way as opening any other file in JBuilder. Locate it in JBuilder's project view and double-click it.

Go to Java code / Go to form

JFormDesigner adds a button to JBuilder's main toolbar that enables you to switch quickly from a JFormDesigner form editor to its Java editor and vice versa. If a form editor is active, then the button is named Go to Java code (). If a Java editor is active, then it is named Go to JFormDesigner form ().

Go to Java code   Go to form

Code folding

To move the generated code out of the way, JFormDesigner folds it in the Java editor.

Code folding

Convert JBuilder forms

You can convert existing JBuilder forms to JFormDesigner forms. Right-click on the Java file and select Convert to JFormDesigner Form.

Convert forms

Note: JFormDesigner inserts its own generated GUI code into the existing Java class, but does not remove JBuilder's GUI code. You have to remove JBuilder's component variables and initialization code yourself.


The JFormDesigner preferences are fully integrated into the JBuilder preferences dialog. Select Tools > Preferences from the menu to open it. See Preferences for details.

Unsupported features

Following features from other editions are not supported by the JBuilder plug-in:

  • Convert NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA and Abeille forms to JFormDesigner forms.
  • Use look and feels in Design view.
  • Import and export of preferences.