NetBeans IDE 7.1 Window Layout Designer

In 7.1, you'll see this in the New File dialog:

I.e., as you can see, there'll be two new file templates. One for creating & registering a new layer file (hurray!), which you'll not be able to create when you create a new module. That's good, because you'll only have a layer file when you actually need it.

Secondly, you'll see the "Layout of Windows" wizard, which will be very useful when you're creating your own modes. When you step through the wizard, this dialog will appear, where you're able to create new modes:

For example, as you can see below, I have added two new modes ("banner1" and "banner2") and positioned them (using drag and drop) within the frame of the application:

When I close the window that you see above, the wizard recognizes that there are two new modes, as you can see below:

Then, when you click Next above, you can see that two new mode files will be created, and that the layer file will be changed, i.e., those two new mode files will be registered in the layer file when the wizard completes:

And, here you can see what is found in my module when the wizard completes:

Therefore, when I create new windows, I can now choose the new modes I designed above:

That should take some of the pain away when designing the layout of your applications on the NetBeans Platform.


This is great news! We were looking for this feature for quite some time.
Many thanks to the netbeans team for implementing it.



Posted by SorinS on August 22, 2011 at 01:19 AM PDT #

Great news Geertjan, I wasn't expecting this to be available so soon!


Posted by RobT on August 22, 2011 at 09:38 AM PDT #

can we use this to create perspectives : predefined as we as user defined?

Posted by guest on August 24, 2011 at 07:27 PM PDT #

Hi Geertjan,

I'm reading the book "JavaFX Rich Client Programming on the Netbeans Platform" by Gail Anderson and Paul Anderson where I discovered this Netbeans's feature in the chapter 8. But It´s not working for me, after made each step that they show (similar to this procedure), nothing happen. I got a message in the wizard that say "No layout definition found", and that´s it. I have to cancel the wizard. So I can not made the exercise.

I´m using Netbeans 8.0.1 (Build 201408251540), running on windows 7 professional Service Pack 1 on an i3 cpu 560 @ 3.33GHz with 4 GB RAM.

¿Could you tell me what is wrong?

Best Regards,

José Gregorio Castillo

Posted by José Gregorio on November 08, 2014 at 02:24 PM PST #

Hi Geertjan,

Thanks for blogging about Netbeans. It's been very useful for me while learning the platform.
I'm having the same problem that Jose has. Googling about "No layout definition found" gives only 2 pages, which is kind of shocking.
I noticed that modes are regenerated after each clean/build sequence here:


I suspect that the error is related to a path problem, it would be nice to know what is the wizard looking for.

Thanks and Regards,


Posted by Christian on September 24, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT #

World hunger is shocking. The refugee crisis is shocking. Not finding something on Google is annoying, but shocking is surely the wrong word. Join the mailing list ( and ask your questions there -- if I know the answer, I'll try to help. You're going to have to describe in a lot more detail what someone needs to do to reproduce the problem.

Posted by Geertjan on September 25, 2015 at 12:22 AM PDT #

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Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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