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JavaFX TableView

Jakob Jenkov
Last update: 2019-08-24

The JavaFX TableView enables you to display table views inside your JavaFX applications. The JavaFX TableView is represented by the class javafx.scene.control.TableView . Here is a screenshot of a JavaFX TableView:

A JavaFX TableView screenshot

JavaFX TableView Example

Here is a full, but simple JavaFX TableView code example:

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.control.TableColumn;
import javafx.scene.control.TableView;
import javafx.scene.control.cell.PropertyValueFactory;
import javafx.scene.layout.VBox;
import javafx.stage.Stage;

public class TableViewExample extends Application {

    public static void main(String[] args) {

    public void start(Stage primaryStage) {

        TableView tableView = new TableView();

        TableColumn<String, Person> column1 = new TableColumn<>("First Name");
        column1.setCellValueFactory(new PropertyValueFactory<>("firstName"));

        TableColumn<String, Person> column2 = new TableColumn<>("Last Name");
        column2.setCellValueFactory(new PropertyValueFactory<>("lastName"));


        tableView.getItems().add(new Person("John", "Doe"));
        tableView.getItems().add(new Person("Jane", "Deer"));

        VBox vbox = new VBox(tableView);

        Scene scene = new Scene(vbox);



Here is the Person class used in this example:

public class Person {

    private String firstName = null;
    private String lastName = null;

    public Person() {

    public Person(String firstName, String lastName) {
        this.firstName = firstName;
        this.lastName = lastName;

    public String getFirstName() {
        return firstName;

    public void setFirstName(String firstName) {
        this.firstName = firstName;

    public String getLastName() {
        return lastName;

    public void setLastName(String lastName) {
        this.lastName = lastName;

Create a TableView

In order to use a JavaFX TableView component you must first create a TableView instance. Here is an example of creating a JavaFX TableView instance:

TableView tableView = new TableView();

Add TableColumn to the TableView

Having created a TableView you need to add one or more TableColumn instances to the TableView instance. A TableColumn represents a vertical column of values. Each value is displayed on its own row, and is typically extracted from the list of objects being displayed in the TableView. Here is an example of adding two TableColumn instances to a JavaFX TableView instance:

TableView tableView = new TableView();

TableColumn<String, Person> firstNameColumn = new TableColumn<>("First Name");
firstNameColumn.setCellValueFactory(new PropertyValueFactory<>("firstName"));

TableColumn<String, Person> lastNameColumn = new TableColumn<>("Last Name");
lastNameColumn.setCellValueFactory(new PropertyValueFactory<>("lastName"));

Notice the Java String parameter passed to the constructor of the TableColumn class. This string will be displayed as the column header above the column. You can see an example of such a column header title in the screenshot at the top of this page.

TableColumn Cell Value Factory

A TableColumn must have a cell value factory set on it. The cell value factory extracts the value to be displayed in each cell (on each row) in the column. In the example above a PropertyValueFactory is used. The PropertyValueFactory factory can extract a property value (field value) from a Java object. The name of the property is passed as a parameter to the PropertyValueFactory constructor, like this:

PropertyValueFactory factory = new PropertyValueFactory<>("firstName");

The property name firstName will match the getter getter method getFirstName() of the Person objects which contain the values are displayed on each row.

In the example shown earlier, a second PropertyValueFactory is set on the second TableColumn instance. The property name passed to the second PropertyValueFactory is lastName, which will match the getter method getLastName() of the Person class.

Add Data to TableView

Once you have added TableColumn instances to the JavaFX TableView, you can add the data to be displayed to the TableView. The data is typically contained in a list of regular Java objects (POJOs). Here is an example of adding two Person objects (class shown earlier in this JavaFX TableView tutorial) to a TableView :

tableView.getItems().add(new Person("John", "Doe"));
tableView.getItems().add(new Person("Jane", "Deer"));

Set Placeholder When No Rows to Display

You can set a placeholder to be displayed when the JavaFX TableView has no rows to display. The placeholder must be an instance of the JavaFX Node class, which most (if not all) JavaFX controls are. Thus, you can use an JavaFX ImageView or JavaFX Label as placeholder. Here is an example of using a Label as placeholder in a JavaFX TableView :

tableView.setPlaceholder(new Label("No rows to display"));

And here is how the corresponding TableView looks with the placeholder displayed:

A JavaFX TableView with a placeholder displayed when no rows to display.

Jakob Jenkov

Copyright  Jenkov Aps
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