Geertjan's Blog

  • January 19, 2016

New Look for NetBeans IDE 8.1 (Part 2)

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager

In part 1
, I highlighted Hamit Hasanhocaoglu's excellent work in making the Darcula look and feel available to NetBeans IDE users via a brand new plugin. Click to enlarge the image below:

The great news is that his plugin has now been open sourced and everyone is welcome to contribute further refinements to it:


Take note of all the enthusiasm on the plugin's page, including several people who've offered to get involved in the further development of the plugin:


There are also several ideas for companion editor themes for the Darcula plugin. Mine is described here and works very well for me:


Here's another one, by Fagner Granella:


In v1.1 of the plugin, it became possible to use the "--fontsize" switch in the "netbeans.conf" file. In the initial release, that switch was ignored, so that the default 12 fontsize could not be overridden. I have set that to 15, which works well for me, everything is now very legible and really smooth for my workflow. Also, it's now possible to switch between look and feels, in the Options window, as shown below, which was not possible before v1.1 of the plugin.

In v1.2 of the plugin, which was released today, together with the open sourcing of the plugin, more white lines within NetBeans IDE have been incorporated into the Darcula plugin, which was also part of the v1.1 enhancements. For example, look at the white horizontal line that you can see below the buttons in the top of the Options window. Here is a "before" and then an "after" screenshot.

Several other similar finetunings have taken place and I highly recommend v1.2 to anyone using the plugin already, as well as to those who have yet to get started with it. 

Many thanks again Hamit Hasanhocaoglu. This is a truly fantastic contribution, and completely unexpected, to the NetBeans community.

I am extremely happy to be actively using this plugin, it's really awesome in every way. 

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Comments ( 5 )
  • heidtmare Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    Any idea how to include this as the theme for custom NetBeans platform applications?

  • Geertjan Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    It's open source. Just check out the module and include it in your own application, just like any other modules.

  • Neil C Smith Thursday, January 21, 2016

    Looks great!

    Good to know that Options window hack is still (mostly) working! Now if only the software credit was correct. :-)

  • Revivius Friday, January 22, 2016

    Hi Neil C Smith;

    From Javadoc:


    * Many thanks to Neil C. Smith of Praxis-Life. This trick is mostly

    * based on his excellent blog article:

    * https://praxisintermedia.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/the-dark-arts-of-netbeans-hackery/


    public class OptionsAwareLabelUI extends BasicLabelUI { ... }

    I think you mean "Praxis-Life" right ? :) Next version will fix it to "Praxis-Live". Thank you for the hack once again.

    By the way; Praxis-Live looks very fantastic and also interesting.

  • guest Tuesday, February 2, 2016

    Version 1.4 is out!

    And awaiting your approval to show up as a certified plugin update

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