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public class: MaskFormatter [javadoc | source]

All Implemented Interfaces:
    Cloneable, Serializable

MaskFormatter is used to format and edit strings. The behavior of a MaskFormatter is controlled by way of a String mask that specifies the valid characters that can be contained at a particular location in the Document model. The following characters can be specified:


# Any valid number, uses Character.isDigit.
' Escape character, used to escape any of the special formatting characters.
UAny character (Character.isLetter). All lowercase letters are mapped to upper case.
LAny character (Character.isLetter). All upper case letters are mapped to lower case.
AAny character or number (Character.isLetter or Character.isDigit)
?Any character (Character.isLetter).
HAny hex character (0-9, a-f or A-F).

Typically characters correspond to one char, but in certain languages this is not the case. The mask is on a per character basis, and will thus adjust to fit as many chars as are needed.

You can further restrict the characters that can be input by the setInvalidCharacters and setValidCharacters methods. setInvalidCharacters allows you to specify which characters are not legal. setValidCharacters allows you to specify which characters are valid. For example, the following code block is equivalent to a mask of '0xHHH' with no invalid/valid characters:

MaskFormatter formatter = new MaskFormatter("0x***");

When initially formatting a value if the length of the string is less than the length of the mask, two things can happen. Either the placeholder string will be used, or the placeholder character will be used. Precedence is given to the placeholder string. For example:

  MaskFormatter formatter = new MaskFormatter("###-####");
  formatter.getDisplayValue(tf, "123");

Would result in the string '123-____'. If setPlaceholder("555-1212") was invoked '123-1212' would result. The placeholder String is only used on the initial format, on subsequent formats only the placeholder character will be used.

If a MaskFormatter is configured to only allow valid characters (setAllowsInvalid(false)) literal characters will be skipped as necessary when editing. Consider a MaskFormatter with the mask "###-####" and current value "555-1212". Using the right arrow key to navigate through the field will result in (| indicates the position of the caret):

The '-' is a literal (non-editable) character, and is skipped.

Similar behavior will result when editing. Consider inserting the string '123-45' and '12345' into the MaskFormatter in the previous example. Both inserts will result in the same String, '123-45__'. When MaskFormatter is processing the insert at character position 3 (the '-'), two things can happen:

  1. If the inserted character is '-', it is accepted.
  2. If the inserted character matches the mask for the next non-literal character, it is accepted at the new location.
  3. Anything else results in an invalid edit

By default MaskFormatter will not allow invalid edits, you can change this with the setAllowsInvalid method, and will commit edits on valid edits (use the setCommitsOnValidEdit to change this).

By default, MaskFormatter is in overwrite mode. That is as characters are typed a new character is not inserted, rather the character at the current location is replaced with the newly typed character. You can change this behavior by way of the method setOverwriteMode.

Warning: Serialized objects of this class will not be compatible with future Swing releases. The current serialization support is appropriate for short term storage or RMI between applications running the same version of Swing. As of 1.4, support for long term storage of all JavaBeansTM has been added to the java.beans package. Please see java.beans.XMLEncoder .

Fields inherited from javax.swing.text.DefaultFormatter:
 public MaskFormatter() 
 public MaskFormatter(String mask) throws ParseException 
    Creates a MaskFormatter with the specified mask. A ParseException will be thrown if mask is an invalid mask.
    ParseException - if mask does not contain valid mask characters
Method from javax.swing.text.MaskFormatter Summary:
canReplace,   getInvalidCharacters,   getMask,   getPlaceholder,   getPlaceholderCharacter,   getValidCharacters,   getValueContainsLiteralCharacters,   install,   isNavigatable,   isValidEdit,   setInvalidCharacters,   setMask,   setPlaceholder,   setPlaceholderCharacter,   setValidCharacters,   setValueContainsLiteralCharacters,   stringToValue,   valueToString
Methods from javax.swing.text.DefaultFormatter:
canReplace,   clone,   commitEdit,   getAllowsInvalid,   getCommitsOnValidEdit,   getDocumentFilter,   getInitialVisualPosition,   getNavigationFilter,   getNextCursorPosition,   getNextVisualPositionFrom,   getOverwriteMode,   getReplaceHolder,   getReplaceString,   getValueClass,   install,   isLegalInsertText,   isNavigatable,   isValidEdit,   moveDot,   positionCursorAtInitialLocation,   replace,   replace,   repositionCursor,   setAllowsInvalid,   setCommitsOnValidEdit,   setDot,   setOverwriteMode,   setValueClass,   stringToValue,   updateValue,   updateValue,   valueToString
Methods from javax.swing.JFormattedTextField$AbstractFormatter:
clone,   getActions,   getDocumentFilter,   getFormattedTextField,   getNavigationFilter,   install,   invalidEdit,   setEditValid,   stringToValue,   uninstall,   valueToString
Methods from java.lang.Object:
clone,   equals,   finalize,   getClass,   hashCode,   notify,   notifyAll,   toString,   wait,   wait,   wait
Method from javax.swing.text.MaskFormatter Detail:
 boolean canReplace(ReplaceHolder rh) 
    This method does the following (assuming !getAllowsInvalid()): iterate over the max of the deleted region or the text length, for each character:
    1. If it is valid (matches the mask at the particular position, or matches the literal character at the position), allow it
    2. Else if the position identifies a literal character, add it. This allows for the user to paste in text that may/may not contain the literals. For example, in pasing in 5551212 into ###-#### when the 1 is evaluated it is illegal (by the first test), but there is a literal at this position (-), so it is used. NOTE: This has a problem that you can't tell (without looking ahead) if you should eat literals in the text. For example, if you paste '555' into #5##, should it result in '5555' or '555 '? The current code will result in the latter, which feels a little better as selecting text than pasting will always result in the same thing.
    3. Else if at the end of the inserted text, the replace the item with the placeholder
    4. Otherwise the insert is bogus and false is returned.
 public String getInvalidCharacters() 
    Returns the characters that are not valid for input.
 public String getMask() 
    Returns the formatting mask.
 public String getPlaceholder() 
    Returns the String to use if the value does not completely fill in the mask.
 public char getPlaceholderCharacter() 
    Returns the character to use in place of characters that are not present in the value, ie the user must fill them in.
 public String getValidCharacters() 
    Returns the valid characters that can be input.
 public boolean getValueContainsLiteralCharacters() 
    Returns true if stringToValue should return literal characters in the mask.
 public  void install(JFormattedTextField ftf) 
    Installs the DefaultFormatter onto a particular JFormattedTextField. This will invoke valueToString to convert the current value from the JFormattedTextField to a String. This will then install the Actions from getActions, the DocumentFilter returned from getDocumentFilter and the NavigationFilter returned from getNavigationFilter onto the JFormattedTextField.

    Subclasses will typically only need to override this if they wish to install additional listeners on the JFormattedTextField.

    If there is a ParseException in converting the current value to a String, this will set the text to an empty String, and mark the JFormattedTextField as being in an invalid state.

    While this is a public method, this is typically only useful for subclassers of JFormattedTextField. JFormattedTextField will invoke this method at the appropriate times when the value changes, or its internal state changes.

 boolean isNavigatable(int offset) 
    Returns true if the MaskFormatter allows invalid, or the offset is less than the max length and the character at offset is a literal.
 boolean isValidEdit(ReplaceHolder rh) 
 public  void setInvalidCharacters(String invalidCharacters) 
    Allows for further restricting of the characters that can be input. Only characters specified in the mask, not in the invalidCharacters, and in validCharacters will be allowed to be input. Passing in null (the default) implies the valid characters are only bound by the mask and the valid characters.
 public  void setMask(String mask) throws ParseException 
    Sets the mask dictating the legal characters. This will throw a ParseException if mask is not valid.
 public  void setPlaceholder(String placeholder) 
    Sets the string to use if the value does not completely fill in the mask. A null value implies the placeholder char should be used.
 public  void setPlaceholderCharacter(char placeholder) 
    Sets the character to use in place of characters that are not present in the value, ie the user must fill them in. The default value is a space.

    This is only applicable if the placeholder string has not been specified, or does not completely fill in the mask.

 public  void setValidCharacters(String validCharacters) 
    Allows for further restricting of the characters that can be input. Only characters specified in the mask, not in the invalidCharacters, and in validCharacters will be allowed to be input. Passing in null (the default) implies the valid characters are only bound by the mask and the invalid characters.
 public  void setValueContainsLiteralCharacters(boolean containsLiteralChars) 
    If true, the returned value and set value will also contain the literal characters in mask.

    For example, if the mask is '(###) ###-####', the current value is '(415) 555-1212', and valueContainsLiteralCharacters is true stringToValue will return '(415) 555-1212'. On the other hand, if valueContainsLiteralCharacters is false, stringToValue will return '4155551212'.

 public Object stringToValue(String value) throws ParseException 
    Parses the text, returning the appropriate Object representation of the String value. This strips the literal characters as necessary and invokes supers stringToValue, so that if you have specified a value class (setValueClass) an instance of it will be created. This will throw a ParseException if the value does not match the current mask. Refer to #setValueContainsLiteralCharacters for details on how literals are treated.
 public String valueToString(Object value) throws ParseException