The complete guide to tuning the appearance of NetBeans by Geertjan Wielenga

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NetBeans IDE is comprehensive and powerful, though not always as pretty as you’d like it to be, which, in turn, can have an impact on the efficiency and enjoyment of your coding experience. Since there will never be one single appearance that will please absolutely everyone, it helps to know what you can do to make NetBeans pleasing to your own specific eye.

The idea that there’s ever going to be an out-of-the-box appearance, for any tool, that will please absolutely everyone in the world who uses it is a fallacy. Not only do operating systems render user interfaces in different ways, not only are there variations resulting from video cards and other hardware components—there’s also the simple question of differences in taste. One size does not fit all. For these reasons, it’s probably a more realistic desire to want to have a tool that has a lot of ways to let you configure its interface, than to want to have a tool that comes with a 100% perfectly preconfigured appearance with which everyone is going to be equally satisfied, since that would be impossible to achieve.

Fortunately, NetBeans is extremely configurable. Not only can the editor and its fonts be customized, separately for each language it supports or globally—you can also completely change its entire “look and feel”, by trying out and than selecting one of many different “look and feel” plugins that are available. It speaks to the popularity of NetBeans that so many different plugins and themes exist, since many, even most, of them have been created by NetBeans users around the world and have been contributed, in most cases for free, for anyone in the world to use. Read the complete article here.

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