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 JDeveloper. No need to switch between applications.
- Uses the source folders and classpath of the current JDeveloper 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).
- 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.
- Automatically add needed libraries (JGoodies Forms, TableLayout, etc) to the project.
The screenshot below shows the JDeveloper main window editing a JFormDesigner form.
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 JDeveloper's New command. In the category Swing/AWT choose JFormDesigner Form and click OK to proceed.
Open forms for editing¶
You can open existing forms the same way as opening any other file in JDeveloper. Locate it in JDeveloper's Application Navigator view and double-click it.
Go to Java code / Go to form¶
JFormDesigner adds a button to JDeveloper'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 ().
Convert JDeveloper 12c, NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA and Abeille forms¶
You can convert existing JDeveloper 12c forms (which are actually NetBeans forms), NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA and Abeille forms to JFormDesigner forms. Right-click on the form file (or any container) and select Convert to JFormDesigner Form.
When converting an IntelliJ IDEA form, JFormDesigner inserts its own generated GUI code into the existing Java class and removes IntelliJ IDEA's GUI code.
The JFormDesigner preferences are fully integrated into the JDeveloper preferences dialog. Select Tools > Preferences from the menu to open it and then expand the node "JFormDesigner" in the tree. See Preferences for details.
Following features from other editions are not supported by the JDeveloper plug-in:
- Folding of generated GUI code in Java editor.
- Use look and feels in Design view.
- Project specific settings.
- Import and export of preferences.