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JavaFX Text

Jakob Jenkov
Last update: 2020-04-15

The JavaFX Text control can display a text inside a JavaFX GUI. The JavaFX Text control is represented by the JavaFX class javafx.scene.text.Text . You can set the font to be used by the Text control, text size, font decorations and many other things.

Since the JavaFX Text control is a subclass of the JavaFX Shape class, the Text class has all the same methods available that other JavaFX Shape objects do - e.g. fill and stroke color and style.

The JavaFX Text control is also a subclass of the JavaFX Node class, so the Text class also has all the same methods available as any other JavaFX Node has, meaning you can set effects on it etc.

JavaFX Text Example

Here is a simple, complete JavaFX text example:

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.layout.VBox;
import javafx.scene.text.Text;
import javafx.stage.Stage;

public class TextExample extends Application {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        launch(args);
    }

    public void start(Stage primaryStage) {

        Text text = new Text("This is a JavaFX text.");

        Scene scene = new Scene(new VBox(text), 300, 250);
        primaryStage.setScene(scene);
        primaryStage.show();

    }
}

Set Text

You can set the text of a JavaFX Text object via its setText() method. Here is an example of setting the text of a JavaFX Text control via setText():

Text text = new Text();

text.setText("This is the text to display");

Set Font

You can set the font of a JavaFX Text control via its setFont() method. Here is an example of setting the font of a JavaFX Text object via its setFont() method:

Text text = new Text("Some Text");

text.setFont(Font.font("Arial"));

This example sets the font to be used by the Text control to render the text to be of the font family Arial.

The JavaFX Font class used in this example is the javafx.scene.text.Font class. The Font class actually also lets you specify the font weight and font size. Here is the example above, modified to also set font weight and font size for the JavaFX Text control:

Text text = new Text("Some Text");

text.setFont(Font.font("Arial", FontWeight.BOLD, 36));

This example sets the font weight to bold and font size to 36. The FontWeight class used in this example is the javafx.scene.text.FontWeight class.

Set Fill Color

Being a Shape, you can set the fill color of a JavaFX Text control. The fill color is the "inside" color used to draw the text. You set the fill color of a Text control via its setFill() method which takes a JavaFX Color object as parameter. Here is an example of setting the fill color of a JavaFX Text control via setFill():

text.setFill(Color.YELLOW);

Set Stroke Color

Being a Shape, you can also set the stroke color of a JavaFX Text control. The stroke color is the "outline" or "boundary" color used to draw the text. By default, text is rendered only using the fill color, but setting a stroke color can add a nice effect. You set the stroke color of a Text control via its setStroke() method which takes a JavaFX Color object as parameter. Here is an example of setting the stroke color of a JavaFX Text control via setStroke():

text.setStroke(Color.GREEN);

Text X and Y Position

The X and Y position of a JavaFX Text control determines where inside its parent container element the Text control is displayed - provided the parent container respects this position (Pane does, VBox does not). You can set the X and Y position of a Text control via its methods setX() and setY(). Here is an example of setting the X and Y position of a JavaFX Text control:

text.setX(50);
text.setY(25);

Text Origin

The JavaFX Text control has an origin which controls how the text is displayed relative to the Y position of the Text control. You set the origin using the Text setTextOrigin() method. Here is an example of setting the Text origin:

text.setTextOrigin(VPos.BASELINE);

The setTextOrigin() method takes a VPos parameter. The VPos class contains the following constants you can choose between:

  • VPos.BASELINE
  • VPos.BOTTOM
  • VPos.CENTER
  • VPos.TOP

VPos.BASELINE means that the Y position of the Text control is interpreted to mean the Y baseline of the displayed text. The text is displayed just above the baseline, with some characters extending below the baseline.

VPos.BOTTOM means that the Y position of the Text control is interpreted to mean the bottom the displayed text. This is lower than BASELINE.

VPos.CENTER means that the Y position of the Text control is interpreted to mean the center of the text vertically.

VPos.TOP means that the Y position of the Text control is interpreted to mean the top of the text vertically.

Multiline Text

The JavaFX Text control will break the text it displays on to multiple lines based on these rules:

  • If the text contains a line break ( \n ) .
  • If the text width exceeds a wrapping width set on the Text control.

Here is first an example showing a text that contains a line break:

Text text = new Text("This is a JavaFX text.\nLine 2");

The Text control will break the text before "Line" because the String contains a line break character.

Here is an example of setting a text wrapping width on the JavaFX Text control:

Text text = new Text("This is a longer JavaFX text.");
text.setWrappingWidth(80);

The JavaFX Text control will attempt to break the text between words. Thus, if after a specific word the text width is wider than the wrapping width, the Text control will wrap the text before that word that makes the text wider than the wrapping width.

Text Strikethrough

The JavaFX Text control enables you to apply a strikethrough decoration to the text it displays. You enable the strikethrough decoration via the Text setStrikethrough() method, passing a value of true as parameter. A parameter value of false will disable the strikethrough effect. Here is an example of enabling the JavaFX Text strikethrough decoration via the setStrikethrough() method:

text.setStrikethrough(true);

Text Underline

The JavaFX Text control enables you to apply an underline decoration to the text it displays. You enable the underline decoration via the Text setUnderline() method, passing a value of true as parameter. A parameter value of false will disable the underline decoration. Here is an example of enabling the JavaFX Text underline decoration via the setUnderline() method:

text.setUnderline(true);

Font Smoothing Techniques

The JavaFX Text control contains two different font smoothing (antialiasing) techniques you can choose between. The first technique is called LCD, and the second is called GRAY. You can choose which font smoothing technique the Text control should use via the setFontSmoothingType() method. Here are examples of setting both LCD and GRAY as font smoothing technique on a JavaFX Text control:

text.setFontSmoothingType(FontSmoothingType.GRAY);

text.setFontSmoothingType(FontSmoothingType.LCD);

Which of the two font smoothing techniques fits best to your application you will have to experiment with.

Jakob Jenkov

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