I have a Node.Property. I want to control its appearance or custom editor somehow. What options are available?

NetBeans built-in property editors support a number of "hints" which will affect how the property editor behaves. A few are global to all property editors; the rest are specific to property editors for specific types.

Note that all of these are hints - a property editor is free to ignore them or not support them in the future. However all of these have been present since NetBeans 3.6 and are should still work as of NetBeans 6.9.

Property Type Hint Name Value Type Effect
Any suppressCustomEditor java.lang.Boolean Causes the property not to show a [...] button in the property sheet
Any valueIcon javax.swing.Icon Causes the property not to show an icon beside the value (should be 16x16 or smaller) when not in edit mode
Most editors (string, etc.) htmlDisplayValue java.lang.String An HTML-ized string which should be rendered using HTML rendering, not literally. The subset of HTML supported by org.openide.awt.HtmlRenderer is supported. Generally the value should be a formatted variant of the actual value - otherwise when the user edits the value, it will suddenly seem to have changed.
All property editors nameIcon java.awt.Image or javax.swing.Icon An icon which should be displayed next to the property name in the property sheet (16x16 or smaller)
All property editors helpID java.lang.String A JavaHelp help ID to provide custom help for this property's custom editor (not when the property sheet has focus)
All property editors postSetAction javax.swing.Action An action which should be invoked after the property sheet has updated the property's value from the property editor (not very useful unless you need access to the TableCellEditor - not sure what this was used for)
java.lang.String and editors which show a combo box initialEditValue java.lang.String A string which should be the initial value when the user starts editing, even if the actual property value is null
Most editors (string, etc.) htmlDisplayValue java.lang.String An HTML-ized string which should be rendered using HTML rendering. Has effect only when a cell in the property sheet or tree table or outline is not in edit mode.
Any editor that shows a combo box in the property sheet canEditAsText java.lang.Boolean Causes the combo box to be editable by text entry and[] See the separate FAQ entry for File properties
java.lang.String[] (array of strings) item.separator java.lang.String The delimiter for splitting a user entered string into an array (the default is a , character)
java.lang.Integer stringKeys java.lang.String[] (array of strings) Keys - allows an integer editor to show a combo box with strings, instead of a text editor. If this property is used, the additional hint intValues; for custom code generation in the form editor, optionally codeValues may also be set.
java.lang.Integer intValues int[] (not java.lang.Integer - array of ints) The values that map to the strings passed in the stringKeys hint
java.lang.Integer codeValues java.lang.String[] (array of strings) The value that should be returned by the property editor's getJavaInitializationString() method if the corresponding value is selected
java.lang.Boolean stringValues java.lang.String[] (array of strings) Alternate names to show instead of true and false (note, this will result in a radio-button boolean editor instead of a checkbox; to use radio buttons in all boolean editors, set the system property to true)
java.lang.String instructions java.lang.String Localized instructions to the user which should be visible above the text field/area in the custom editor
java.lang.String oneline java.lang.Boolean Instruct the custom editor to use a single-line JTextField instead of a mult-line JTextArea
java.awt.Image images java.awt.Image[] An array of images the user can select from
java.awt.Image values java.lang.String[] Names for the images passed in the images hint
java.awt.Image descriptions java.lang.String[] An array of descriptions corresponding to the array of images passed in the images hint
java.lang.Object (yes, you can have a property of Object and there is an editor for it - the user can select from all objects of a type in the default Lookup or a specific lookup [see below] using a combo box) superClass java.lang.Class The superclass, passed to Lookup.getDefault().lookupAll() to find all possible values
java.lang.Object nullValue java.lang.Object (must be of the same type as the type passed in the superClass hint) The value the editor should show if the property initially has a value of null
java.lang.Object lookup org.openide.util.Lookup A specific lookup for this editor to query for possible values, instead of using the default lookup
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