Home > Java FX 2 > Working with JavaFX 2 Layout Managers

Working with JavaFX 2 Layout Managers

My original objective was to work with the GridPane layout manager. During my learning process I ended up working with the VBox, HBox, BorderPane and GridPane.

Below is the code. Please see attached PDFs. I have two versions of each PDF with our without line numbers. Also consider taking a look at several tutorials on other layout managers in JavaFX 2 on javadesk.co website.

Screen shots

PDFs of JavaFX 2 Code

JavaFX 2 application (no line numbers)This version of the source code does not contain line numbers. Use this version for copy / paste.

JavaFX 2 CSS style sheet (no line numbers)This version of the CSS style sheet used with application does not contain line numbers. Use this version for copy / paste.

JavaFX 2 application (with line numbers)This version of the source code contains line numbers. Use this version for printing.

JavaFX 2 CSS style sheet (with line numbers)This version of the CSS style sheet used with application contains line numbers. Use this version for printing.


package ui.layouts.GridPane;

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.event.ActionEvent;
import javafx.event.EventHandler;
import javafx.geometry.HPos;
import javafx.geometry.Pos;
import javafx.geometry.Rectangle2D;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.control.Button;
import javafx.scene.control.Label;
import javafx.scene.control.TextField;
import javafx.scene.layout.BorderPane;
import javafx.scene.layout.GridPane;
import javafx.scene.layout.HBox;
import javafx.scene.layout.VBox;
import javafx.stage.Screen;
import javafx.stage.Stage;

 * Demo1. Entry point into demonstration application.
public class Demo1 extends Application {

    private BorderPane layout;
    private Scene scene;
    private TextField txtFirstName, txtLastName;

    public void start(Stage stage) {

        //Create BorderPane layout manager.
        layout = new BorderPane();  //This is the "root node".

        //Give Root Node a CSS ID Attribute

        //Set Scene Properties.

        //Build Demo App Layout

        //Set a few properties of our Application Window
        stage.setTitle("Grid Pane Demo");

     * main. Application Entry Point.
     * @param args
    public static void main(String[] args) {

     * buildLeft. This method builds the Left Region of BorderPane.
     * This is a BorderPane with VBox containing buttons and border.
    private void buildLeft() {

        BorderPane leftLayout = new BorderPane();

        // Create a faux border-right effect using a Label.
        Label divider = new Label();

        //Place all demonstration buttons in a Vercial Box.
        VBox buttonBox = new VBox();

        //Set Alignment of Buttons in VBox Container.

        //Give VBox a CSS ID

        //Create some vertical spacing b/n buttons

        //Add Demonstration Buttons
        Button btnExample1 = new Button();

        //Set Button Text
        btnExample1.setText("Example 1");

        //Set All Buttons to the same size.

        //Add Click Event.
        btnExample1.setOnAction(new EventHandler() {

            public void handle(ActionEvent event) {
                System.out.println("Example 1 Button Clicked.");

        //Create Button 2
        Button btnExample2 = new Button();
        btnExample2.setText("Useless Button");
        btnExample2.setOnAction(new EventHandler() {

            public void handle(ActionEvent event) {
                System.out.println("Example 2 Button Clicked.");

        //Create Button 3
        Button btnExample3 = new Button();
        btnExample3.setText("Useless Button");
        btnExample3.setOnAction(new EventHandler() {

            public void handle(ActionEvent event) {
                System.out.println("Example 3 Button Clicked.");

        buttonBox.getChildren().addAll(btnExample1, btnExample2, btnExample3);

        //Add VBox to leftLayout.

        //Place into Application.


     * buildTop. Create a Title Bar.
    private void buildTop() {

        BorderPane topLayout = new BorderPane();

        //Add CSS Style ID.

        // Create a faux border-bottom effect using a Label.
        Label divider = new Label();

        //Create an HBox to hold title.
        //We use the HBox to set text alignment to TOP LEFT
        HBox titleBox = new HBox();

        //Create title.
        Label title = new Label();
        title.setText("GridPane Demo");

        //Add Title label to titleBox

        //Add Title Box (with label) to topLayout

        //Add topLayout (a BorderPane Manager) to App Layout.


     * setSceneProperties. This simply sets app to almost full size.
     * It also is where the css stylesheet is attached to app.

    private void setSceneProperties()
        //The percentage values are used as multipliers for screen width/height.
        double percentageWidth = 0.98;
        double percentageHeight = 0.90;

        //Calculate the width / height of screen.
        Rectangle2D screenSize = Screen.getPrimary().getBounds();
        percentageWidth *= screenSize.getWidth();
        percentageHeight *= screenSize.getHeight();

        //Create a scene object. Pass in the layout and set
        //the dimensions to 98% of screen width & 90% screen height.
        this.scene = new Scene(layout, percentageWidth, percentageHeight);

        //Add CSS Style Sheet (located in same package as this class).
        String css = this.getClass().getResource("Demo1.css").toExternalForm();


     * example1. This method just creates a simple GridPane with 2
     * rows and 2 columns. This example demonstrates the use of
     * showing gridLines.
     * @return
    private VBox example1() {

        //Create a container to fill 100% space in Center Region of
        //App BorderPane (layout).
        VBox exContainer = new VBox();

        //Create a new GridPane.
        GridPane gridPane = new GridPane();

        //Turn on GridLines so we can see what is going on.

        //Give the GridPane an ID for CSS Styles.

        //Add some spacing between each control.
        //Comment the next 2 lines out to see what happens when this is
        //not explicitly set. It will remove the padding you specified.

        //Add a description of what we are doing to GridPane.
        //This description starts in Row 0, Col 0 and spans
        //2 columns and one row.
        Label label = new Label("Turn on the grid lines to see results.");
        gridPane.add(label, 0,0,2,1);

        //Add A Label. The label starts in Col 0, Row 1 and does not
        //span any columns or rows.
        gridPane.add(new Label("First Name"), 0, 1);

        //Add a TextField. The textfield starts in Col 1, Row 1 and
        //does not span any columns or rows.
        txtFirstName = new TextField();
        gridPane.add(txtFirstName, 1,1);

        //Add Last Name label in Col 0, Row 2
        gridPane.add(new Label("Last Name"), 0,2);

        //Add Last Name Text Field in Col 1, Row 2.
        txtLastName = new TextField();
        gridPane.add(txtLastName, 1,2);

        //Add a Submit Button.
        Button submitButton = new Button("Submit");
        submitButton.setOnAction(new EventHandler() {

            public void handle(ActionEvent event) {
                System.out.printf("Submit Button Clicked. Hi there %s %s",
                        txtFirstName.getText(), txtLastName.getText());
        gridPane.add(submitButton, 1,3);

        //Align the Submit Button to Right.
        gridPane.setHalignment(submitButton, HPos.RIGHT);

        //Add GridPane to container.

        //Return Container
        return exContainer;


    Document   : Demo1
    Created on : Mar 22, 2012, 11:20:14 AM
    Description: Style our JavaFX 2 application demo.
                 Put this css style sheet in same package
                 (or directory) as Java class.

 * This is the root node. In demo this is the BorderPane that is passed
 * into the Scene constructor.
#appContainer {
    -fx-background-color: linear-gradient(to bottom, #464646, #5f5f5f);

 * This CSS style is for the buttonBox in Left region of BorderPane.
 * It sets a linear gradient background color and applies a 1px padding
 * around the VBox inner edges.
#buttonMenuContainer {
    -fx-background-color: linear-gradient(to bottom, #737373, #595959);
    -fx-padding: 10px;

 * Give the buttonBox container a subtle hover effect.
#buttonMenuContainer:hover {
    -fx-background-color: linear-gradient(to bottom, #717171, #515151);

 * This is a makeshift border. #divider1 creates the right border inside
 * The Application's Left Region. #divider2 creates the bottom border
 * for the title.
 * The idea was to use a Blank Label. For example, for the Title, which is
 * located in the BorderPane Top Region; I've set the Labels minWidth
 * property to the screen size. This creates the effect of a bottom border.
 * Set the background color here.
#divider1, #divider2{
    -fx-background-color: linear-gradient(to bottom, #dad9d9, #ffffff);

 * the topLayoutContainer is a BorderPane manager that is placed inside the
 * application's layout container (root node). This is how I was able to
 * create the bottom border effect (#divider2).
#topLayoutContainer {
    -fx-background-color: linear-gradient(to bottom, #ebeced, #b5bcc6);

 * appTitle text.
#appTitle {
    -fx-text-fill: linear-gradient(to bottom, #717171, #515151);
    -fx-font-family: verdana;
    -fx-font-size: 24px;

 * This class is a HBox used to set the alignment of the appTitle Text
 * The padding is set to push the title down and to the right from the
 * container edges.
#titleBox {
    -fx-padding: 10px 0 0 15px;

 * In this css style, we are applying styles to a GridPane.
 * We apply a border with radius. We also need to apply the
 * background radius. This creates the rounded corners when
 * the first button is clicked. Remember to set both background
 * and border radius.
#gridPane_Example1 {
    -fx-border-color: #ffffff;
    -fx-border-width: 1px;
    -fx-border-radius: 4;
    -fx-background-radius: 4;
    -fx-background-color: linear-gradient(to bottom, #b5bcc6, #dee3e4);
    -fx-padding: 15;


 * exContainer ID is applied to a VBox. This VBox is what is physically
 * loaded into the Applications Center region (root node). I use the VBox
 * so content automatically fills available space. 100% width and height.
#exContainer {
    -fx-padding: 10px;

 * First Name TextField.
#txtFirstName {
    -fx-border-color: #939393;
    -fx-border-radius: 5px;
    -fx-background-radius: 5px;
    -fx-background-color: linear-gradient(to bottom, #cccccc, #f2f2f2);

 * The focused effect.
#txtFirstName:focused {
    -fx-border-color: linear-gradient(to left, #ff0000, #7d1e15);

 * The hover effect.
#txtFirstName:hover {
    -fx-border-color: linear-gradient(to left, #ffca45, #f8a70f);

 * Keep the focused coloring when mouse is still hovering over
 * text field while active.
#txtFirstName:focused:hover {
    -fx-border-color: linear-gradient(to left, #ff0000, #7d1e15);

 * Apply this style to all Label objects.
Label {
    -fx-font-size: 12px;
    -fx-font-weight: lighter;
  1. Darius
    July 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Very intersting example.
    I’m wondering if you could share the project files (netbeans).
    That will be really appreciated.
    Thank you.

  2. Darius
    August 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Thank you very much

  1. March 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm
  2. March 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: