My name is Pedro DV. I’m a Software Engineer and Software Designer. I work as a
JavaFX and Swing Freelancer and
Consultant, but more generally can be described as a Front End Freelancer and Consultant
since I also have experience in web technologies, building web apps, etc,
and have experience in
User Interface Design
and User Experience.
I’ve been creating user interfaces, professionally, since 2006. More information here and for a detailed
CV style report my LinkedIn page.
I've worked directly with clients or as a sub-contractor.
These new styles are comprised of a new dark and light version.
JMetro 4.0 details
I first started by updating the Combo Box.
Combo Box new style
Colors have changed, and also the down arrow image:
Combo Box OLD JMetro Light Theme
Combo Box NEW JMetro Light Theme
The down arrow image has a thinner stroke and is wider.
One thing that doesn’t happen in Fluent Design but happens with JMetro is that when you mouse press the Combo Box it immediately starts to open up to key presses from the keyboard. This is indicated by the focus indicator: the border of the Combo Box turns black (white in the case of the dark theme). Pressing the down and up arrow keyboard keys will now change the selected item. This is the default behavior of JavaFX.
You’ll notice above that JavaFX adds scroll bars when the Combo Box has more content. The first Combo Box is fine without the scroll bars whereas the one below shows them for the user to be able to scroll through a larger content set.
Combo Box OLD JMetro Dark Theme
Combo Box NEW JMetro dark theme
Scroll Bar new style
Since I’ve changed the Combo Box style I took the opportunity to also update the Scroll Bar. I did this because, like I said, Scroll Bars can also be used inside Combo Box’s.
Scroll Bar OLD JMetro light theme
Scroll Bar NEW JMetro light theme
The colors are slightly different and the arrow has changed to one with a thinner stroke. The same is true of the dark style, with the arrow image color changing to white.
ScrollBar OLD JMetro Dark Theme
ScrollBar NEW JMetro Dark Theme
And the new Scroll Pane light and dark style:
ScrollPane NEW JMetro light theme
ScrollPane NEW JMetro dark theme
Version 4.0 of JMetro brings new styles to the Scroll Bar and the Combo Box. These control’s arrow images were made thinner and wider. Colors of light and dark theme have also changed, sometimes just slightly.
12 controls have been updated since version 3.0 came out, a few weeks ago. This included new styles for controls that didn’t have them as well as refreshing existing styles. Since there is a dark and light version for every control, that’s 24 new styles since the start of this last iteration!
With those 24 new styles there’s tons of small detail changes. They might seem tiny, but all of them added up is what can make an interface shine.
The versioning I’ve been adopting might seem a bit odd to you (and maybe it actually is) but my objective is, in version 5.0, to finish refreshing the looks of all the important controls. Also, maybe one or two additions of new styles for controls that don’t have them yet and possibly a new feature that would allow changing the colors of the theme with a method call or through a CSS variable override.
As usual follow me on twitter and subscribe to this blog to stay up-to-date.
I have a big update for JMetro this time. Version 3.8 brings the following new Fluent Design (FDS) inspired styles (dark and light) and updates:
New Radio Button style;
New style for Check Box;
New style for Menus;
Updated style for Context Menu;
New style for Choice Box.
JMetro new version details
I decided to, for now, switch focus off on the JMetro samples. I still styled the controls to look good and have a distinct appearance when they are focused, though. I’ve done this because the focus ring functions a bit different in Windows 10 than it does, by default, in JavaFX applications.
In JavaFX applications the control gets focus (gets added the focused pseudo class) whenever you mouse press it, whereas in Windows you need to first press the Tab key or arrow keys (in some situations) to activate the focus system, making the focus ring appear, and then cycle through until you get to the control you want.
This makes sense since, with this, the focus ring is only shown when the user does indeed want to interact with the application through the use of the keyboard and thus it avoids this distraction, otherwise.
You can still have this behavior in JavaFX, you just need to code it. I don’t know yet how new versions of Mac OS work in this regard (I don’t have a recent Mac to test this), but it could be a feature to add to JMetro, in the future.
Radio Button new style
The following animations show the new style and old style of the Radio Button:
Radio Button OLD JMetro light style
Radio Button NEW JMetro light style
Radio Button OLD JMetro dark style
Radio Button NEW JMetro dark style
Check Box new style
The Check Box has seen a significant change:
Check Box OLD JMetro light style
Check Box NEW JMetro light style
Check Box OLD JMetro dark style
Check Box NEW JMetro dark style
Since I changed the Check Box, for consistency sake, I also needed to change every other control that used a check mark before delivering a new version. These controls are the Choice Box and Menu.
New Choice Box style
As I mentioned before this is not a control that exists in the Fluent Design specification. It only exists in JMetro.
Choice Box OLD JMetro light style
Choice Box NEW JMetro light style
Choice Box OLD JMetro style
Choice Box NEW JMetro dark style
New Menu style
This style is a new addition. It’s another one that only exists in JMetro. It doesn’t exist in the Fluent Design System specification, at least not yet.
This style comprises the Menu Bar and the Menu Items that show up when the Menu Bar is open, which themselves can be Menu Items of type “Check Box Menu Item” or “Radio Menu Item” (there can only be one RadioMenuItem selected in the same ToggleGroup).
In the sample below the “Picture Effect” sub-menu contains MenuItems of type RadioMenuItem, all belonging to the same ToggleGroup, and the “View” menu contains MenuItems of type CheckMenuItem which work pretty much like a CheckBox.
Menu JMetro light style
Menu JMetro dark style
New Context Menu style
The Menu and Context Menu are interlinked. Both use MenuItems for their content. So while creating the new Menu style, I toke the opportunity to also update the Context Menu style yet again.
I changed the pressed and hover styles and also made the MenuItems even more compact, by reducing their height. In previous versions of JMetro my intention was to have the touch targets big enough so the application could be used without change both in touch devices and mouse based devices (desktop and laptop).
This proved to not be the best strategy as users of mouse based devices ended up with applications that were not optimized for their system, with controls that occupied too much space and wasted screen real estate. This is especially important in productivity applications.
For these reasons JMetro is now optimized for mouse based systems with controls occupying just the space they need to occupy. Whenever application developers need to distribute their applications in touch based devices (phones, tablets, etc), they’ll need to just reconfigure the height through the CSS of each control (only the ones that need it) to be enough to conform with touch target sizes. This way they’ll get an application that is optimized for both touch based devices and mouse based devices with just a little bit more programming effort.
I may in the future add a “touch” style class that developers can easily toggle to switch controls to being touch based optimized or “mouse” optimized.
The following are animations of the new and old Context Menu style (before version 3). The old style only had one version:
Context Menu OLD JMetro dark style
And here are the new styles in this JMetro version:
Context Menu NEW JMetro light style
Context Menu NEW JMetro dark style
This was a big update to JMetro, which added 5 styles in total, including dark and light versions. New styles have been added to: Radio Button, Check Box, Choice Box, Menu and Context Menu.
JMetro has now styles for almost all JavaFX controls that ship with the SDK. It also adds new styles and new controls that don’t exist by default.
The new versions focus on optimizing screen real estate for each platform. More compact in mouse based devices (laptops, desktops) and bigger controls in touch based devices. Developers still need to configure each control’s CSS (those that need it), but that may be even easier in future versions.
I still haven’t updated the documentation, I’ll be doing that in the upcoming days.
As always if you want to stay up-to-date and don’t miss out, subscribe to this blog and follow me on twitter.
[Update: This article has been updated on 20 July, 2018]
I’ve just released a new update for JMetro, bumping the version up to 3.3.0.
In this update you’ll find:
New TreeView Fluent Design System (FDS for short, that was originally named ‘Metro’) inspired style;
New Tabs and TabPane FDS inspired style;
New Context Menu dark FDS inspired style and retouch of light style.
JMetro version 3.3.0 details
TreeView JMetro style
The following animations show the new TreeView JMetro style:
TreeView JMetro light style
TreeView JMetro dark style
Tabs and TabPane JMetro style
A new JMetro style has been added for Tabs (and TabPane):
Tab JMetro light style
Tab JMetro dark style
You may notice a slight ghost effect when changing selected tabs in the light style (a white border surrounds the tab that was just unselected). I only noticed this recently when reading this post again. This issue doesn’t exist in JMetro itself but it’s actually a problem with the GIF image presented above.
I’d also like to mention that these styles for Tabs and TabPane don’t exist in Microsoft’s Fluent Design System (FDS) specification, they only exist in JMetro. I made them because this is a control that exists in the JavaFX SDK, it’s an often used control and it was also a feature request.
JMetro does not try to mimic FDS it is rather a Java (JavaFX) theme inspired by FDS.
ContextMenu dark style and light style update
Before this JMetro version the dark and light style of the Context Menu looked the same:
Context Menu – JMetro theme before version 3.3.0
With version 3.3.0, a dark theme has been added, and the light theme has been retouched, and made slightly more compact along with changes to color, etc:
ContextMenu JMetro light theme
ContextMenu JMetro dark theme
That’s it for this post. 3 new styles have been added/retouched: TreeView, Tabs and ContextMenu. Follow me on twitter and subscribe to this blog if you want to stay up-to-date on the latest news. I’ll update the documentation in the next coming days.
Here’s what I have planned next for JMetro:
Retouch Radio Button style;
Add JMetro style for Menus;
Retouch Toggle Switch style;
Add capability to easily change colors of JMetro style;
Hi again, this time the TableView “Metro” style gets added to the JMetro JavaFX theme. This amps up the JMetro version to 3.1.0.
The reason why I didn’t add the Table style before is because strangely there isn’t yet a definition for the Table in the Fluent Design System (previously Metro). There is a preview control, called DataGrid but is still in preview and will only be officially added later.
The JMetro Table style is a custom made style I’ve done based on the Fluent Design System’s other controls and guide lines.
As usual there is a Dark and Light theme.
JMetro Table View – Light Theme
JMetro Table View – Dark Theme
If you’re familiar with the standard JavaFX theme (Modena) you’ll also notice that the JMetro arrow that appears when sorting a column is different.
The border around the table in the dark and light themes are not part of the control style. It was added to the table in the sample app.
In the light theme there is a light border below the header row that is not visible in the GIF. It is visible in a PNG image:
Table View with the border below the header row
These are the relevant fixes that have been made in version 3.1.0:
Fix toggle switch style showing with rounded corners