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;
      }
   }
}

Adding a border to each element in a JList

Change the default cell renderer as in following example:

import javax.swing.border.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.util.*;
import java.awt.*;
 
public class Main {
   public static void main(String args[]) {
      JFrame frame = new JFrame("JList Background Demonstration");
      final ImageIcon imageIcon = new ImageIcon("bg1.jpg");
 
      Vector v = new Vector();
      for (int i=0; i<10; i++) {
         v.addElement("Item #" + i);
      }
 
      JList list = new JList(v);
 
      list.setCellRenderer(new BorderCellRenderer(new BevelBorder(BevelBorder.LOWERED)));
//      list.setCellRenderer(new BorderCellRenderer(new BevelBorder(BevelBorder.RAISED)));
//      list.setCellRenderer(new BorderCellRenderer(new EtchedBorder(EtchedBorder.LOWERED)));
//      list.setCellRenderer(new BorderCellRenderer(new EtchedBorder(EtchedBorder.RAISED)));
      
      frame.getContentPane().add(BorderLayout.CENTER, list); //new JScrollPane(list));
      frame.setDefaultCloseOperation(3);
      frame.pack();
      frame.setVisible(true);
   }
}
 
class BorderCellRenderer extends DefaultListCellRenderer implements ListCellRenderer {
   AbstractBorder border;
 
   public BorderCellRenderer(AbstractBorder border) {
      this.border = border;
   }
 
   public Component getListCellRendererComponent(
      JList list,
      Object value,            // value to display
      int index,               // cell index
      boolean isSelected,      // is the cell selected
      boolean cellHasFocus)    // the list and the cell have the focus
   {
      Component c = super.getListCellRendererComponent(list, value, index, isSelected, cellHasFocus);
 
      ((JComponent) c).setBorder(border);
 
      return c;
   }
}

Removing all the elements of a JList

The quickest way to find an answer to these kind of questions is to look at the API. You can call either removeAllElements or clear on the list model. clear is preferred.

import javax.swing.event.*;
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 DefaultListModel listModel = new DefaultListModel();   
 
      // populate listmodel
      for (int i=0; i&lt;5; i++) {
         listModel.addElement(&quot;list item #&quot; + i);
      }
 
      final JList list = new JList(listModel); 
 
      getContentPane().add(new JScrollPane(list));    
      JButton removeAllButton = new JButton(&quot;Remove all elements&quot;);
      removeAllButton.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
         public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
 
            listModel.clear();
 
         }
      });
      getContentPane().add(removeAllButton);
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      pack();
   }
   
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}

Showing a popup-menu when a user right-clicks on an element in a JList

This example creates a JList and shows a popupmenu only when the user clicked on the selected item.
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() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());
 
      final DefaultListModel listModel = new DefaultListModel();   
 
      // populate listmodel
      for (int i=0; i<5; i++) {
         listModel.addElement("list item #" + i);
      }
 
      final JList list = new JList(listModel); 
      getContentPane().add(new JScrollPane(list));    
 
      final JPopupMenu popupMenu = new JPopupMenu();
      popupMenu.add(new JMenuItem("PopupItem 1"));
      popupMenu.add(new JMenuItem("PopupItem 2"));
      popupMenu.add(new JPopupMenu.Separator());
      popupMenu.add(new JMenuItem("PopupItem 3"));
 
      list.addMouseListener(new MouseAdapter() {
         public void mouseClicked(MouseEvent me) {
            if (SwingUtilities.isRightMouseButton(me)    // if right mouse button clicked
                  && !list.isSelectionEmpty()            // and list selection is not empty
                  && list.locationToIndex(me.getPoint()) // and clicked point is
                     == list.getSelectedIndex()) {       //   inside selected item bounds
               popupMenu.show(list, me.getX(), me.getY());
            }
         }
      });
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      pack();
   }
   
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}

Getting the selected item(s) from a JList

There are several functions to determine the selected value(s) of a JList:

  • getSelectedIndex() returns the first selected index
  • getSelectedIndices() returns all of the selected indices
  • getSelectedValue() returns the first selected value
  • getSelectedValues() returns all of the selected values

Here’s an example:

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("Item #" + i);
      }
 
      final JList list = new JList(v);
      getContentPane().add(new JScrollPane(list));
      JButton button = new JButton("Show selected items");
      getContentPane().add(button);
      button.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
         public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) { 
            System.out.println("Selected values:");
            Object[] oarr = list.getSelectedValues();
            for (int i=0; i<oarr.length; i++) {
               System.out.println(oarr[i]);
            }
 
            System.out.println("Selected indices:");
            int[] iarr = list.getSelectedIndices();
            for (int i=0; i<iarr.length; i++) {
               System.out.println(iarr[i]);
            }
         }
      });
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      setSize(200, 250);
   }
   
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}

Allowing multiple selections in a JList

A JList has three different selection modes:

1) SINGLE_SELECTION: allows only one item to be selected at a time

2) SINGLE_INTERVAL_SELECTION: allows contiguous items to be selected at a time

3) MULTIPLE_INTERVAL_SELECTION: (default) allows any combination of items to be selected at a time

Following example shows you how to apply them
Main.java:

import javax.swing.event.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.util.*;
import java.awt.*;
  
public class Main extends JFrame implements ActionListener {
   JList list; 
 
   public Main() {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new BorderLayout());
 
      final DefaultListModel listModel = new DefaultListModel();   
 
      // populate listmodel
      for (int i=0; i<10; i++) {
         listModel.addElement("list item #" + i);
      }
 
      list = new JList(listModel); 
      getContentPane().add(BorderLayout.CENTER, new JScrollPane(list));    
 
      JPanel panel = new JPanel(new GridLayout(3, 1));
      JRadioButton rb1 = new JRadioButton("SINGLE_SELECTION");
      rb1.addActionListener(this);
      JRadioButton rb2 = new JRadioButton("SINGLE_INTERVAL_SELECTION");
      rb2.addActionListener(this);
      JRadioButton rb3 = new JRadioButton("MULTIPLE_INTERVAL_SELECTION");
      rb3.addActionListener(this);
      ButtonGroup bg = new ButtonGroup();
      bg.add(rb1);
      bg.add(rb2);
      bg.add(rb3);
      panel.add(rb1);
      panel.add(rb2);
      panel.add(rb3);
      getContentPane().add(BorderLayout.EAST, panel);
  
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      pack();
   }
 
   public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
      if (ae.getActionCommand().equals("SINGLE_SELECTION"))
         list.getSelectionModel().setSelectionMode(ListSelectionModel.SINGLE_SELECTION);
      else if (ae.getActionCommand().equals("SINGLE_INTERVAL_SELECTION"))
         list.getSelectionModel().setSelectionMode(ListSelectionModel.SINGLE_INTERVAL_SELECTION);
      else if (ae.getActionCommand().equals("MULTIPLE_INTERVAL_SELECTION"))
         list.getSelectionModel().setSelectionMode(ListSelectionModel.MULTIPLE_INTERVAL_SELECTION);
   }
   
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}

Creating a JList with images

Create your own CellRenderer and change the default behavior as to show the ImageIcon:

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();
      v.addElement(new ImageString("first", new ImageIcon("c:\first.gif")));
      v.addElement(new ImageString("second", new ImageIcon("c:\second.gif")));
      v.addElement(new ImageString("third", new ImageIcon("c:\third.gif")));
      v.addElement(new ImageString("fourth", new ImageIcon("c:\fourth.gif")));
      v.addElement(new ImageString("fifth", new ImageIcon("c:\fifth.gif")));
 
      final JList list = new JList(v);
      list.setCellRenderer(new ImageStringCellRenderer());
      getContentPane().add(new JScrollPane(list));
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      setSize(200, 300);
   }
   
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}
 
class ImageStringCellRenderer extends DefaultListCellRenderer implements ListCellRenderer {
   public Component getListCellRendererComponent(
      JList list, Object value, int index, boolean isSelected, boolean cellHasFocus)    
   {
      ImageString is = (ImageString) value;
      setText(is.getString());
      setIcon(is.getIcon());
      if (isSelected) {
         setBackground(list.getSelectionBackground());
         setForeground(list.getSelectionForeground());
      }
      else {
         setBackground(list.getBackground());
         setForeground(list.getForeground());
      }
      setEnabled(list.isEnabled());
      setFont(list.getFont());
 
      return this;
   }
}
 
class ImageString
{
   private String s;
   private Icon icon;
 
   public ImageString(String s, Icon icon) {
      this.s = s;
      this.icon = icon;
   }
 
   public void setString(String s) {
      this.s = s;
   }
 
   public String getString() {
      return s;
   }
 
   public void setIcon(Icon icon) {
      this.icon = icon;
   }
 
   public Icon getIcon() {
      return icon;
   }
  
   public String toString() {
      return s;
   }
}

Selecting a JList item by double-clicking or pressing Enter

For detecting double-clicking, add a MouseListener and catch the MouseEvents where clickCount is equal to 2.
For detecting the enter key, add a KeyListener and check whether the KeyCode is KeyEvent.VK_ENTER.

Here’s an example:

import javax.swing.event.*;
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<50; i++) {
         v.addElement("Item #" + i);
      }
      getContentPane().add(new JLabel("Double-clicked on: "));
      final JTextField dblTextField = new JTextField(15);
      getContentPane().add(dblTextField);
      getContentPane().add(new JLabel("Enter key on: "));
      final JTextField entTextField = new JTextField(15);
      getContentPane().add(entTextField);
      final JList list = new JList(v);
 
      // catch double-click events
      list.addMouseListener(new MouseAdapter() {
         public void mouseClicked(MouseEvent me) {
            if (me.getClickCount() == 2) {
               dblTextField.setText(""+list.getSelectedValue()); 
            }
         }
      });
 
      // catch enter-key events
      list.addKeyListener(new KeyAdapter() { 
         public void keyReleased(KeyEvent ke) { 
            if (ke.getKeyCode() == KeyEvent.VK_ENTER) { 
               entTextField.setText(""+list.getSelectedValue());
            }
         }
      });
 
      getContentPane().add(new JScrollPane(list));    
 
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent event) {
            System.exit(0);   
         }      
      });
 
      setSize(200, 300);
   }
   
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      (new Main()).show();
   }
}