Trying to create text links

Posted on 2004-04-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-31
I'm working on a project and have become stuck. I want to display the contents of an arraylist as a series of adjacent, underlined pieces of text that execute some code when you click on them. I initially displayed the contents as a row of JButtons (with border set to null and editable false). They were quite large however, and I wanted the text to be close together. I tried reducing the size of the JButton using setSize, but whenever its size was set beneath a certain value, the text on the button changed into "...", even though there was blatantly more than enough room to fit the text on. Reducing the font size of the text did not help either.

I'm now trying to use a JTextField (with border set to null and editable false) to display the contents. Although it is possible to add an ActionListener to this, I cannot figure out how to catch the events it generates. The only one i'm interested in is when the mouse is clicked on it. I presume it generates an event because it highlights the current contents of the textfield. I realise it is possible to do this by adding a MouseMotionListener and detecting its clicks, but i was wondering if there was a simpler way.

Is there any way to do this or should I try creating hyperlinks with a jeditorpane?

Question by:rm21
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 10770638
Use a JEditorPane, and HyperlinkListener to listener for click.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 10770642
You would use html and <a> tags for your links.

Author Comment

ID: 10770644
How would I create a hyperlink that generates events then?
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 10770657
In your html use the <a> tag

Author Comment

ID: 10771298
Have got a content pane running with some text but what would i put between the <a></a> tags to get some code to run? And subsequently what would i tell the hyperlinklistener to listen for? Thanks again
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 10771324
<a href="url">link text</a>

the url will be passed to the hyperlinklistener in the HyperlinkEvent whenever the link is pressed.


Accepted Solution

RobCSP earned 500 total points
ID: 10772798
Hi, this comment assist the objects comment:
When the user clicks on a link in a non-editable JEditorPane, the pane fires a HyperLinkEvent

Responded to by any registered HyperLinkListener objects

public interface HyperLinkListener {
  public void hyperlinkUpdate(HyperlinkEvent e)

The HyperlinkEvent object passed to this method contains the URL of the event which is returned by its getURL() method:

public URL getURL()

HyperlinkEvents are fired not just when the user clicks the link but also when the mouse enters or exits the link area. Thus you'll want to check the type of the event before changing the page with the getEventType() method:

public HyperlinkEvent.EventType getEventType()

This will return one of the three mnemonic constants





import javax.swing.*;
import javax.swing.event.*;

public class LinkFollower implements HyperlinkListener {

  private JEditorPane pane;
  public LinkFollower(JEditorPane pane) {
    this.pane = pane;

  public void hyperlinkUpdate(HyperlinkEvent evt) {
    if (evt.getEventType() == HyperlinkEvent.EventType.ACTIVATED) {
      try {
      catch (Exception e) {        

 * SimpleWebBrowser.java
 * Created on 7 de abril de 2004, 10:17

import javax.swing.text.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.io.*;
import java.awt.*;

public class SimpleWebBrowser {

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    // get the first URL
    String initialPage = "http://www.elmundo.es/traductor/";
    if (args.length > 0) initialPage = args[0];      
    // set up the editor pane
    JEditorPane jep = new JEditorPane();
    jep.addHyperlinkListener(new LinkFollower(jep));
    try {
    catch (IOException e) {
      System.err.println("Usage: java SimpleWebBrowser url");
    // set up the window
    JScrollPane scrollPane = new JScrollPane(jep);    
    JFrame f = new JFrame("Simple Web Browser");
    f.setSize(512, 342);


Author Comment

ID: 10774013
Thanks guys for the help

Expert Comment

ID: 10774904
thnx ;P
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 10778782

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