JavaFX Filesystem Viewers

JavaFX 8 has 2 controls (=dialogs) to browse the filesystem

  • javafx.stage.DirectoryChooser native_dir
  • javafx.stage.FileChooser native_file

who create native resource dialogs but if you want to integrate a directory view in your application and/or you want custom features like a file preview those dialogs are of no help.

I had just this use case and so I implemented 3 different controls:

  • org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.filesystem.DirectoryTreeView: Display a directory structure as a tree
  • org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.filesystem.DirectoryView: Display the contents of a directory – currently only a list view is available
  • org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.filesystem.ResourcePreview: Display preview informations of a file e.g. a thumb for images

If you combine them you get a nice file browser you can integration just anywhere


Usage is straight forward:

package org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.sample;

import java.nio.file.Paths;

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.beans.Observable;
import javafx.collections.FXCollections;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.control.SplitPane;
import javafx.stage.Stage;

import org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.filesystem.DirectoryTreeView;
import org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.filesystem.DirectoryView;
import org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.filesystem.IconSize;
import org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.filesystem.ResourceItem;
import org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.filesystem.ResourcePreview;
import org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.filesystem.RootDirItem;

public class DirectoryViewSample extends Application {

  private static RootDirItem rootDirItem;

  public void start(Stage primaryStage) throws Exception {
    rootDirItem = ResourceItem.createObservedPath(

    DirectoryTreeView tv = new DirectoryTreeView();

    DirectoryView v = new DirectoryView();

    tv.getSelectedItems().addListener( (Observable o) -> {
      if( ! tv.getSelectedItems().isEmpty() ) {
      } else {

    ResourcePreview prev = new ResourcePreview();
    v.getSelectedItems().addListener((Observable o) -> {
      if( v.getSelectedItems().size() == 1 ) {
      } else {

    SplitPane p = new SplitPane(tv,v, prev);

    Scene s = new Scene(p,500,500);

  public static void main(String[] args) {
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18 Responses to JavaFX Filesystem Viewers

  1. As a user, I would much prefer the native file dialog to this version. The original native dialog that you show has a list of common folders on the left side (e.g. Downloads, Documents), different views (including Column View which already includes a preview thumbnail), tags, and a search bar. All of those are lacking in the new dialog. Moreover, it just looks odd and is likely to confuse end users who would be much more comfortable with a native dialog.A

    While I suppose it’s good to know all of the options that are available, I think that it would be better to just stick with the native dialog in any apps.

    • Tom Schindl says:

      I can see your point but maybe I was not clear enough the viewer and the dialogs solve very different problems and there’s always a need to browse a file system inside applications whereas I’d also use the native dialogs e.g. to open files.

  2. Pingback: JavaFX links of the week, January 19 // JavaFX News, Demos and Insight // FX Experience

  3. George Moralis says:

    nice work! will that be open source?

  4. mohsin says:

    how to use this tutorial in Netbeans JavaFx

  5. mohsin says:

    Thank you very much !

  6. Laskawiec says:

    Interesting job but I have NPE when I select some folder which contains hidden folder (like AppData for example):
    Exception in thread “JavaFX Application Thread” java.lang.NullPointerException
    at$$Lambda$288/1139353194.apply(Unknown Source)
    at org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.tree.SimpleTreeCell.updateItem(

  7. Pankaj Kant Patel says:

    Thank you…Perfect Solution

  8. christophe LASKAWIEC says:

    Nice work. Your component is more valuable than the native one because yours shows directory and files, not only directory.

  9. Felix Muenscher says:

    Nice work, but can’t get it up and running.
    Is this library compatible with the latest version of Java and OpenJFX?

    I’m constantly getting errors like:
    JavaDSServiceProcessor – Unable to load component ‘jar:file:/lib/org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls-2.2.0.jar!/OSGI-INF/services/org.eclipse.fx.ui.controls.styledtext.UnderlineStrategyFactory.xml’
    JavaDSServiceProcessor – java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: javax/xml/bind/JAXBContext

  10. Leil Jan says:

    Thank you so much. This is really neat. I have a question regarding the table headers though. I am implementing DirectoryView this in a UI that has Japanese language support, so text such as “File Name”, “Change Date”, and “Size” will be in Japanese. Is there a way to modify these?

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