Geertjan's Blog

  • April 2, 2007

New NetBeans API For Adding Close Button to JTabbedPane

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
One of the many esoterically ongoing discussions in the Swing world is that of "The Missing Close Button on JTabbedPanes". (To see a selection of these discussions, and various solutions, click here and you'll find yourself in Google, with all the returns for "jtabbedpane close button".) Even in this blog you'll find discussions on this topic. In JDIC Browser on the NetBeans Platform, I discuss various approaches to solving this problem. But... guess what? I was browsing through (the incredibly useful and totally underhighlighted) NetBeans API Changes since Last Release yesterday. And what did I find..? On February 28 of this year, the following was reported on that page: "Added TabbedPane with closeable tabs".

The summary of the above is as follows:

Added a factory class for special JTabbedPane that displays a small 'close' button in each tab. When user clicks the close button a PropertyChangeEvent is fired from the tabbed pane.

How cool is that? The NetBeans APIs come to the rescue, solving a problem in the world of Swing. For details on this issue, see issue 55845 and issue 96754.

So now each tab in my browser has its own Close button. (Though in some cases you'll need to get a build from after today, because of issue 99691). Below, look at the tab for the two web pages, www.cnn.com and www.guardian.co.uk. Both have a Close button right next to the display name in the tab:

Behind the scenes, this is how the JTabbedPane is defined:

browseTabbedPane = new JTabbedPane();
browseTabbedPane = TabbedPaneFactory.createCloseButtonTabbedPane();
browseTabbedPane.addPropertyChangeListener( TabbedPaneFactory.PROP_CLOSE, new PropertyChangeListener() {
public void propertyChange(PropertyChangeEvent evt) {
JTabbedPane pane = (JTabbedPane)evt.getSource();
int sel = pane.getSelectedIndex();

And, by the way, just for context, here's what happens when the JButton is clicked:

private void jButton1ActionPerformed(java.awt.event.ActionEvent evt) {                                         
try {
WebBrowser wb=new WebBrowser();
wb.setURL(new URL(txtUrl.getText()));
} catch(Exception ex) {

So, in 6.0 there will be a new TabbedPaneFactory class, which will create a special JTabbedPane that displays a small Close button in each tab, exactly as shown above. What happens when the Close button is clicked is up to you. Above, the tab is removed, but anything else could happen there too.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 5 )
  • jam Tuesday, April 3, 2007
    This can come very handy.
    Seems to me the default behavior should be to delete all objects associated to the tab, and if we want to do something else then we either override the method or something else.
    Why wasn't it given a default behavior ?
  • stan Tuesday, April 3, 2007
    jam: the CloseButtonTabbedPane was originally used in nb output window only, then it was copy&pasted into other modules. i've just made it public to allow sharing of close button icons...
    pls, feel free to file an api enhancement in issuezilla
  • good Tuesday, May 1, 2007
  • guest Friday, February 15, 2008

    very good!

  • xym Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Could you please e-mail me an example about this API? Because I really can't handle it. I worked on it for more than a week ! Many thanks !

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