NetBeans Quick Tip #31 - Changing the Look and Feel



I am running NetBeans on Solaris and to be honest I don't like the default look and feel, mainly because of the sick-looking blue color. But it's very easy to change the look and feel. My favorite look and feel is JGoodies Looks. To use a custom look and feel simply run NetBeans with the following parameters (for Looks):

./netbeans --cp:p /export/home/roumen/looks-2.1.2.jar --laf com.jgoodies.looks.plastic.PlasticXPLookAndFeel 

If you want to change the look and feel pernamently, you can add it into etc/netbeans.conf. There is a parameter called netbeans_default_options. Add to this parameter string "--laf [LAF]", where [LAF] is the class representing the look and feel. Note that GTK LaF has improved a lot in JDK 6, so I also recommend trying GTK LaF if you run Linux or Solaris.

Here are screenshots to compare the default Solaris look & feel and JGoodies Looks:


NetBeans with default LaF on Solaris


NetBeans with JGoodies Looks LaF on Solaris
Comments:

Roumen, You can also edit your conf/netbeans.conf and add your laf line to the netbeans_default_options. Here is an example:
# ${HOME} will be replaced by JVM user.home system property
netbeans_default_userdir="${HOME}/.netbeans/5.5"

# options used by netbeans launcher by default, can be overridden by explicit
# command line switches
netbeans_default_options="-J-Xms32m -J-Xmx128m -J-XX:PermSize=32m -J-XX:MaxPermSize=160m -J-Xverify:none -J-Dapple.laf.useScreenMenuBar=true --cp:p /java/looks-2.1.2/looks-2.1.2.jar --laf com.jgoodies.looks.plastic.PlasticXPLookAndFeel"

# default location of J2SE JDK, can be overridden by using --jdkhome <dir> switch
netbeans_jdkhome="C:\\java\\jdk1.6.0"

# clusters' paths separated by path.separator (semicolon on Windows, colon on Unices)
#netbeans_extraclusters="/absolute/path/to/cluster1:/absolute/path/to/cluster2"


Posted by Daniel Hinojosa on leden 25, 2007 at 11:24 dop. CET #

Is it possible to change the color of those ugly grey tabs when using JGoodies?

Posted by Jani on leden 25, 2007 at 11:38 odp. CET #

JGoodies Looks has different themes, however I can't figure out how to set a theme as a switch :(

Posted by Roumen on leden 26, 2007 at 02:29 dop. CET #

The JGoodies LaF isn't really supported. I was indeed able to change the color of the tabs by means of changing some UIManager values in an own module, but there is so much left that doesn't look good for me yet. The tabs, the toolbar and the editor selector icons have nothing to do with JGoodies. It's some kind of mix of Metal and WindowsClassic. I am sure the support for LaFs will be improved in the future.

I really would recommend running the GTK LaF. You can see a screen shot in my blog

Posted by Ramon on leden 27, 2007 at 03:02 odp. CET #

Unfortunately GTK LaF has some serious issues on Solaris... it can hang the IDE.

Posted by Roumen on leden 27, 2007 at 03:24 odp. CET #

Just released a module that avoids the use of the ugly grey tabs. Look here

Posted by Ramon on leden 28, 2007 at 06:49 dop. CET #

LOL, I just started writing such module myself... well Ramon you saved me some time :)

Posted by Roumen on leden 28, 2007 at 07:32 dop. CET #

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