Putting a JButton inside a JComboBox

Here’s an example:

import javax.swing.plaf.basic.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.util.*;
import java.awt.*;
    
public class Main extends JFrame
{ 
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
      
      final JButton buttonOk = new JButton("OK");
      buttonOk.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
         public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
            System.out.println(ae.getActionCommand() + " clicked!");
         }
      });
      final JButton buttonCancel = new JButton("Cancel");
      buttonCancel.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
         public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
            System.out.println(ae.getActionCommand() + " clicked!");
         }
      });
 
      final JComboBox combobox = 
         new JComboBox(new Object[] {
               "Item 1",
               "Item 2",
               "Item 3",
               buttonOk,
               "Item 4",
               "Item 5",
               buttonCancel
            }
         );
 
      getContentPane().add(combobox);
      combobox.setRenderer(new ButtonComboBoxRenderer());
      combobox.addActionListener(new ButtonComboBoxListener(this, combobox));
  
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent we) {
            System.exit(1);
         }
      });      
   
      setSize(new Dimension(200, 200));
   } 
 
   public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setVisible(true);
   }
}
 
class ButtonComboBoxRenderer extends BasicComboBoxRenderer implements ListCellRenderer
{
   public ButtonComboBoxRenderer() {
      super();
   }
   
   public Component getListCellRendererComponent( JList list, 
           Object value, int index, boolean isSelected, boolean cellHasFocus) {
      if (isSelected) {
          setBackground(list.getSelectionBackground());
          setForeground(list.getSelectionForeground());
      }
      else {
          setBackground(list.getBackground());
          setForeground(list.getForeground());
      }
 
      setFont(list.getFont());
      if (value instanceof Icon) {
         setIcon((Icon)value);
      }
      if (value instanceof JButton) {
         return (Component) value;
      }
      else {
         setText((value == null) ? "" : value.toString());
      }
 
      return this;
  }  
}
 
class ButtonComboBoxListener implements ActionListener {
   JComboBox combobox;
   JFrame frame;
 
   ButtonComboBoxListener(JFrame frame, JComboBox combobox) {
      this.frame = frame;
      this.combobox = combobox;
      combobox.setSelectedIndex(0);
   }
     
   public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
      Object selectedItem = combobox.getSelectedItem();
      if (selectedItem instanceof JButton) {
         ((JButton) selectedItem).doClick();
      }
   }
}

Invoking a JPopupMenu from a JComboBox

Add a MouseListener:

import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.util.*;
import java.awt.*;
    
public class Main extends JFrame
{ 
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
      
      final JComboBox combobox = new JComboBox(new String[] { "Item 1", "Item 2", "Item 3" });
      final JPopupMenu popup = new JPopupMenu();
      JMenuItem mi1 = new JMenuItem("Popup Item 1");
      JMenuItem mi2 = new JMenuItem("Popup Item 2");
      popup.add(mi1);
      popup.add(mi2);
 
      ((JButton) combobox.getComponent(0)).addMouseListener(new MouseAdapter() {
         public void mousePressed(MouseEvent me) {
            if (me.isPopupTrigger()) {
               popup.show(combobox, me.getX(), me.getY());
            }
         }
 
         public void mouseReleased(MouseEvent me) {
            if (me.isPopupTrigger()) {
               popup.show(combobox, me.getX(), me.getY());
            }
         }
      });
 
      getContentPane().add(combobox);
  
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent we) {
            System.exit(1);
         }
      });      
   
      setSize(new Dimension(200, 200));
   } 
 
   public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setVisible(true);
   }
}

Creating an editable JComboBox

Use the method setEditable. Here’s an example:

import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
   
public class Main extends JFrame
{ 
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new BorderLayout());
      final JComboBox combobox = new JComboBox();
      final JList list = new JList(new DefaultListModel());
 
      getContentPane().add(BorderLayout.NORTH, combobox);
      getContentPane().add(BorderLayout.CENTER, list); 
 
      combobox.setEditable(true);
      combobox.addItemListener(new ItemListener() {
         public void itemStateChanged(ItemEvent ie) {
            if (ie.getStateChange() == ItemEvent.SELECTED) {
               ((DefaultListModel) list.getModel()).addElement(combobox.getSelectedItem());
               combobox.insertItemAt(combobox.getSelectedItem(), 0);
            }
         }
      });
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent we) {
            System.exit(1);
         }
      });      
   
      setSize(new Dimension(200, 200));
   } 
 
   public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setVisible(true);
   }
}

Showing a different tooltip for every item in a JComboBox

Modify the behavior of the ListRenderer such that it includes the currently selected JComboBox item in determining the tooltip text. Here’s an example:

import javax.swing.plaf.basic.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
    
public class Main extends JFrame
{ 
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
      
      final JComboBox combobox = new JComboBox(new String[] { "Item 1", "Item 2", "Item 3" });
 
      getContentPane().add(combobox);
 
      combobox.setRenderer(new BasicComboBoxRenderer() {
         public Component getListCellRendererComponent(JList list, Object value, int index, boolean isSelected, boolean cellHasFocus) { 
            if (isSelected) { 
               setBackground(list.getSelectionBackground()); 
               setForeground(list.getSelectionForeground()); 
               if (index > -1) {
                  list.setToolTipText("Tooltip #" + new Integer(index).toString()); 
               }
            }
            else { 
               setBackground(list.getBackground()); 
               setForeground(list.getForeground()); 
            } 
            setFont(list.getFont()); 
            setText((value == null) ? "" : value.toString()); 
 
            return this; 
         }
      });
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent we) {
            System.exit(1);
         }
      });      
   
      setSize(new Dimension(200, 200));
   } 
 
   public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setVisible(true);
   }
}

Defining the size of a JComboBox

If you want to change the size of the JComboBox component itself, use:

   combobox.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(x, y));

If you want to have control over the popupwidth and popupheight, extend JComboBox and add the necessary functionality to a custom ComboBoxUI:
Main.java:

import javax.swing.plaf.metal.*;
import javax.swing.plaf.basic.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.util.*;
import java.awt.*;
    
public class Main extends JFrame
{ 
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
      
      Vector v = new Vector();
      for (int i=0; i<20; i++)
         v.addElement("ComboBox Item #" + i);
      SizedJComboBox combobox = new SizedJComboBox(v);
 
      combobox.setPopupWidth(190);
      combobox.setPopupHeight(30);
 
      getContentPane().add(combobox);
  
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent we) {
            System.exit(1);
         }
      });      
   
      setSize(new Dimension(200, 200));
   } 
 
   public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setVisible(true);
   }
}
 
class SizedJComboBox extends JComboBox {
   protected int popupWidth;
   protected int popupHeight;
 
   public SizedJComboBox(ComboBoxModel aModel) {
      super(aModel);
      setUI(new SizedComboBoxUI());
   }
 
   public SizedJComboBox(final Object[] items) { 
      super(items); 
      setUI(new SizedComboBoxUI());
   } 
 
   public SizedJComboBox(Vector items) { 
      super(items); 
      setUI(new SizedComboBoxUI()); 
   } 
 
   public void setPopupWidth(int width) { 
      popupWidth = width; 
   }
 
   public void setPopupHeight(int height) {
      popupHeight = height;
   } 
 
   public Dimension getPopupSize() { 
      Dimension size = getSize(); 
      if (popupWidth < 1) popupWidth = size.width; 
      return new Dimension(popupWidth, popupHeight); 
   } 
}
 
class SizedComboBoxUI extends MetalComboBoxUI {
   protected ComboPopup createPopup() { 
      BasicComboPopup popup = new BasicComboPopup(comboBox) { 
         public void show() { 
            Dimension popupSize = ((SizedJComboBox) comboBox).getPopupSize(); 
            popupSize.setSize(popupSize.width, popupSize.height < 1 ? getPopupHeightForRowCount(comboBox.getMaximumRowCount()) : popupSize.height); 
            Rectangle popupBounds = computePopupBounds( 0, 
                  comboBox.getBounds().height, popupSize.width, popupSize.height); 
            scroller.setMaximumSize(popupBounds.getSize()); 
            scroller.setPreferredSize(popupBounds.getSize()); 
            scroller.setMinimumSize(popupBounds.getSize()); 
            list.invalidate(); 
            int selectedIndex = comboBox.getSelectedIndex(); 
            if (selectedIndex == -1) { 
               list.clearSelection(); 
            } else { 
               list.setSelectedIndex( selectedIndex ); 
            } 
            list.ensureIndexIsVisible( list.getSelectedIndex() ); 
            setLightWeightPopupEnabled(comboBox.isLightWeightPopupEnabled()); 
 
            show(comboBox, popupBounds.x, popupBounds.y); 
         } 
      }; 
 
      popup.getAccessibleContext().setAccessibleParent(comboBox); 
      return popup; 
   } 
} 

Disabling some of the elements in a JComboBox

We wrap a JComboBox element in our ConditionalItem object that includes a boolean variable isEnabled. Now, in order to change the default behavior of the JComboBox, we need to handle two things: first blur out the elements that are disabled using our own renderer and second ensure the disabled elements cannot be selected by adding a ActionListener that selects the old selected element in case a disabled item was selected.

Main.java:

import javax.swing.plaf.basic.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.util.*;
import java.awt.*;
    
public class Main extends JFrame
{ 
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
      
      final JComboBox combobox = 
         new JComboBox(
            new ConditionalItem[] { 
               new ConditionalItem("Item 1"),
               new ConditionalItem("Item 2", false),
               new ConditionalItem("Item 3", false),
               new ConditionalItem("Item 4")
            }
         );
 
      getContentPane().add(combobox);
      combobox.setRenderer(new ConditionalComboBoxRenderer());
      combobox.addActionListener(new ConditionalComboBoxListener(combobox));
  
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent we) {
            System.exit(1);
         }
      });      
   
      setSize(new Dimension(200, 200));
   } 
 
   public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setVisible(true);
   }
}
 
class ConditionalComboBoxRenderer extends BasicComboBoxRenderer implements ListCellRenderer
{
   public Component getListCellRendererComponent(JList list, 
           Object value, int index, boolean isSelected, boolean cellHasFocus) {
      if (isSelected) {
        setBackground(list.getSelectionBackground());
        setForeground(list.getSelectionForeground());
      } else {
        setBackground(list.getBackground());
        setForeground(list.getForeground());
      } 
 
      if (!((Conditionable) value).isEnabled()) {
        setBackground(list.getBackground());
        setForeground(UIManager.getColor("Label.disabledForeground"));
      }
 
      setFont(list.getFont());
      setText((value == null) ? "" : value.toString());
      return this;
   }  
}
 
class ConditionalComboBoxListener implements ActionListener {
   JComboBox combobox;
   Object oldItem;
    
   ConditionalComboBoxListener(JComboBox combobox) {
      this.combobox = combobox;
      combobox.setSelectedIndex(0);
      oldItem = combobox.getSelectedItem();
   }
    
   public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
      Object selectedItem = combobox.getSelectedItem();
      if (!((Conditionable) selectedItem).isEnabled()) {
         combobox.setSelectedItem(oldItem);
      } else {
         oldItem = selectedItem;
      }
   }
}
 
class ConditionalItem implements Conditionable {
   Object  object;
   boolean isEnabled;
    
   ConditionalItem(Object object, boolean isEnabled) {
      this.object = object;
      this.isEnabled = isEnabled;
   }
    
   ConditionalItem(Object object) {
     this(object, true);
   }
   
   public boolean isEnabled() {
      return isEnabled;
   }
    
   public void setEnabled(boolean isEnabled) {
      this.isEnabled = isEnabled;
   }
    
   public String toString() {
      return object.toString();
   }
}
 
interface Conditionable {
   public boolean isEnabled();
   public void setEnabled(boolean enabled);
   public String toString();
}

Creating a JComboBox with a divider separator line

Create a cellRenderer that does not convert the element to a String in order to show it, but instead checks whether it is a JSeparator and returns that component instead. Then make sure the JSeparator itself cannot be selected by adding an ActionListener to the combobox.

Main.java:

import javax.swing.plaf.basic.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.util.*;
import java.awt.*;
    
public class Main extends JFrame
{ 
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
      
      final JComboBox combobox = 
         new JComboBox(new Object[] {
               "Item 1",
               "Item 2",
               "Item 3",
               new JSeparator(JSeparator.HORIZONTAL),
               "Item 4",
               "Item 5"
            }
         );
 
      getContentPane().add(combobox);
      combobox.setRenderer(new SeparatorComboBoxRenderer());
      combobox.addActionListener(new SeparatorComboBoxListener(combobox));
  
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent we) {
            System.exit(1);
         }
      });      
   
      setSize(new Dimension(200, 200));
   } 
 
   public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setVisible(true);
   }
}
 
class SeparatorComboBoxRenderer extends BasicComboBoxRenderer implements ListCellRenderer
{
   public SeparatorComboBoxRenderer() {
      super();
   }
   
   public Component getListCellRendererComponent( JList list, 
           Object value, int index, boolean isSelected, boolean cellHasFocus) {
      if (isSelected) {
          setBackground(list.getSelectionBackground());
          setForeground(list.getSelectionForeground());
      }
      else {
          setBackground(list.getBackground());
          setForeground(list.getForeground());
      }
 
      setFont(list.getFont());
      if (value instanceof Icon) {
         setIcon((Icon)value);
      }
      if (value instanceof JSeparator) {
         return (Component) value;
      }
      else {
         setText((value == null) ? "" : value.toString());
      }
 
      return this;
  }  
}
 
class SeparatorComboBoxListener implements ActionListener {
   JComboBox combobox;
   Object oldItem;
    
   SeparatorComboBoxListener(JComboBox combobox) {
      this.combobox = combobox;
      combobox.setSelectedIndex(0);
      oldItem = combobox.getSelectedItem();
   }
     
   public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
      Object selectedItem = combobox.getSelectedItem();
      if (selectedItem instanceof JSeparator) {
         combobox.setSelectedItem(oldItem);
      } else {
         oldItem = selectedItem;
      }
   }
}

Trapping a drop-down event on a JComboBox

Since JDK1.4, you can add a PopupMenuListener to your JComboBox and receive the events.

Main.java:

import javax.swing.event.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.util.*;
import java.awt.*;
 
public class Main extends JFrame { 
   public Main() {
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent we) {
            System.exit(1);
         }
      }); 
 
      Vector v = new Vector();
      v.add("first element");
      v.add("second element");
      v.add("third element");
      v.add("fourth element");
      v.add("fifth element");
 
      final JComboBox cb = new JComboBox(v);
      cb.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
         public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
            System.out.println(cb.getSelectedItem());
         }
      });
 
      cb.addPopupMenuListener(new PopupMenuListener() {
         public void popupMenuCanceled(PopupMenuEvent e) {
            System.out.println("PopupMenuCancel Event");
         }
 
         public void popupMenuWillBecomeVisible(PopupMenuEvent e) {
            System.out.println("popupMenuWillBecomeVisible");
         }
 
         public void popupMenuWillBecomeInvisible(PopupMenuEvent e) {
            System.out.println("popupMenuWillBecomeInvisible");
         }
      });
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout(FlowLayout.LEFT, 10, 10));
      getContentPane().add(new JLabel("Select element:"));
      getContentPane().add(cb);
   } 
 
   public static void main(String []args) {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setVisible(true);
      main.setSize(300, 150);
   }
}

Getting an event when a JComboBox is about to appear/disappear

Since JDK1.4, you can add PopupMenuListeners to your JComboBox. This allows you to get the events popupMenuWillBecomeVisible and popupMenuWillBecomeInvisible. Another event is supposed to be thrown, for a popupMenuCanceled, but is not, due to a bug.

Now that you have the possibility to get an event when the JComboBox popup is about to appear, you can lazily populate it. So only when the user wants to change the value of a JComboBox, you fill it up.

Here’s a short example. Due to a bug related to the order in which getPreferredSize and popupMenuWillBecomeVisible are called, the size of the component is not the desired size. Click twice on the JComboBox to see the desired size.

Main.java:

import javax.swing.event.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
   
public class Main extends JFrame {
   public Main() {
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout(FlowLayout.LEFT));
 
      final JComboBox combobox = new JComboBox(new Object[] {"Default Item"});
      getContentPane().add(combobox);
 
      combobox.addPopupMenuListener(new PopupMenuListener() {
         public void popupMenuCanceled(PopupMenuEvent e) {
            System.out.println("popupMenu canceled");
         }
         public void popupMenuWillBecomeInvisible(PopupMenuEvent e) {
            System.out.println("popupMenu will become invisible");
         }
         public void popupMenuWillBecomeVisible(PopupMenuEvent e) {
            if (combobox.getModel().getSize() <= 1) {
               // lazily populate combobox
               for (int i=0; i<100; i++) {
                  combobox.insertItemAt("Item #" + i, 0);
               }
               combobox.validate();
            }
            System.out.println("popupMenu will become visible");
         }
      });  
 
      setSize(300, 300);
   }
 
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).setVisible(true);
   }
}

Dynamically changing the font size of a JComboBox

Main.java:

import javax.swing.event.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.util.*;
import java.awt.*;
 
public class Main extends JFrame
{
   public Main() {
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent we) {
            System.exit(0);
         }
      });
 
      Vector v = new Vector();
      for (int i=10; i<100; i+=5) {
         v.addElement(""+i);
      }
 
      final JComboBox combobox = new JComboBox(v);
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout(FlowLayout.LEFT));
      getContentPane().add(new JLabel("Select font size:"));
      getContentPane().add(combobox);
 
      Font f = combobox.getFont();
      combobox.setFont(f.deriveFont(10.0f));
  
      combobox.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
         public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
            Font f = combobox.getFont();
            combobox.setFont(f.deriveFont(
                                new Float(""+combobox.getSelectedItem()).
                                          floatValue()));
         }
      });
   }
 
   public static void main(String []args) {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setSize(200, 200);
      main.setVisible(true);
   }
}