How do I add key listener event handler to JTextField?

In this small Swing example we demonstrate how to use java.awt.event.KeyAdapter class to handle keyboard event for the text field component. The snippet will change the characters typed in the JTextField component to uppercase.

A better approach for this use case is to use the DocumentFilter class instead. See the following example How do I format JTextField text to uppercase?.

package org.kodejava.example.swing;

import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.KeyAdapter;
import java.awt.event.KeyEvent;

public class UppercaseTextFieldDemo extends JFrame {
    public UppercaseTextFieldDemo() throws HeadlessException {
        initComponents();
    }

    protected void initComponents() {
        // Set default form size, closing event and layout manager
        setSize(250, 250);
        setDefaultCloseOperation(WindowConstants.EXIT_ON_CLOSE);
        getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout(FlowLayout.LEFT));

        // Create a label and text field for our demo application and add the
        // component to the frame content pane object.
        JLabel usernameLabel = new JLabel("Username: ");
        JTextField usernameTextField = new JTextField();
        usernameTextField.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(150, 20));
        getContentPane().add(usernameLabel);
        getContentPane().add(usernameTextField);

        // Register a KeyListener for the text field. Using the KeyAdapter class
        // allow us implement the only key listener event that we want to listen,
        // in this example we use the keyReleased event.
        usernameTextField.addKeyListener(new KeyAdapter() {
            public void keyReleased(KeyEvent e) {
                JTextField textField = (JTextField) e.getSource();
                String text = textField.getText();
                textField.setText(text.toUpperCase());
            }
        });
    }

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        SwingUtilities.invokeLater(() -> new UppercaseTextFieldDemo().setVisible(true));
    }
}

Wayan Saryada

Programmer, runner, recreational diver, currently living in the island of Bali, Indonesia. Mostly programming in Java, creating web based application with Spring Framework, Hibernate / JPA.

2 Comments

  1. No offense, but this is a bad approach and could lead to mutation errors caused by the underlying Document been in a state of flux when the key event is triggered. It also does not take into account what will happen if the user pastes text into the field. A DocumentFilter would be a better and safer choice and is the reason it was implemented, just for this type of use case.

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