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selecting whole directories in File Dialog window

Posted on 1998-04-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
How can I modify the standard java FileDialog frame so that the user can select multiple files and/or whole directories?
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Question by:margaretr
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Expert Comment

by:dufort
ID: 1220061
You cannot. This dialog is system-dependant, and until Java designers don't add these functionalities to the API, it is simply impossible to choose a simple directory.

I faced this problem too, and found it annoying.

What we have to do is probably to design a directory chooser. I'll try and let you know.

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Author Comment

by:margaretr
ID: 1220062
Thanks.  That is annoying.

What do you mean by a directory chooser?
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Author Comment

by:margaretr
ID: 1220063
Thanks.  That is annoying.

What do you mean by a directory chooser?
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Expert Comment

by:dufort
ID: 1220064
I'm designing dialog box for selecting a directory (and implicitely its whole content). Coupled with a multi-selection JList, this will do the job.

(I'm using Swing classes, not AWT classes. Hope you are too.)

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Expert Comment

by:dufort
ID: 1220065
I give up. I looked the "bug parade" at Sun's developers connection, and there is very long discussion about this problem and about the impossibility of listing installed disks (C:, D:, ...) in Java.

This won't even be included in JDK 1.2.0.

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Author Comment

by:margaretr
ID: 1220066
I just saw that discussion, too.  Pretty disappointing.
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Accepted Solution

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blacklion earned 100 total points
ID: 1220067
No, of course you cannot modify standard FileDialog to choose directories.
But there is temporary solution that I use and, for example, JBuilder uses too.
You should just set some file name to the dialog before show it. So, user should not enter
some file name manually and can consentrate on selecting directory.
For instance:

FileDialog fd = new FileDialog (this, "Select some folder", FileDialog.OPEN);
fd.setFile ("Some.Folder"); // to avoid manually enter the file name
fd.setDirectory (lastUsedDirectory);
fd.show();
if (fd.getFile() != null)
{
  // user selected the directory
  String direcory = fd.getDirectory();
}

AFAIK, this is the only way to do it, unfortunately not so nice, but it works.
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