The java.awt.TextField class provides a widget for editing a single line of text. It's useful for simple input and output.

text field widget

There are four constructors:

  public TextField()
  public TextField(String text)
  public TextField(int length)
  public TextField(String text, int length)

Because of the way Java lays out text, you should not use the noargs constructor. Either start off with a String or specify the number of characters this box is expected to hold. For example,

TextField name = new TextField("Type your name here");
TextField socialSecurity = new TextField(11);

When the user hits the return or enter key inside a TextField, an ActionEvent is fired. You can trap this event with an ActionListener object, just like you did with buttons. However, many users do not realize that something will happen when they hit return inside a TextField. Therefore, you should always provide an alternate method to fire the action such as a button or a menu item.

The getText() method returns the contents of the TextField. The setText(String s) method changes it.

The setEditable() method lets you determine whether or not, the user can modify the contents of a TextField.

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Copyright 1997, 1999, 2003 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified April 8, 2003