How do you combine renderers in flex?

I am trying to make a generic list control that has x buttons in it so that users can remove items from the list by clicking the x button. However, this list control needs to support item renderers while still standardizing the layout of items placed next to x buttons.

So I figure the best approach would be to extend the list control and use a renderer that draws the x button and combines that with what ever renderer the user supplies. Unfortunately I cannot figure out how to do that.

I tried overriding newInstance method from the IFactory interface and used that to create an HBox that contains my button and inserts the newInstance result from a user supplied renderer, however it wasn't complete. It displayed as I expected, but the mouse over effect only worked on the user supplied renderer portion and not the entire HBox that my custom renderer made.

There seems to be a lot of missing details in the Flex documentation on this subject.

I am making all of this in Action Script 3.


I don't think the way to do this is by extending the List control. Instead I would try to create my custom itemRenderer and then extend it as needed. One approach to achive this can be:

  • Create you own SkinnableComponent which implements IItemRenderer or IDataRenderer.
  • Add the component a required part (the Delete button) and the behaviour you need (eg: deleteButton click handler)
  • Extend the component you have created to create concrete renderers.

EDIT: Added example

This is a simple example of how you can create an itemRenderer extending SkinnableComponent and implementing IDataRenderer. It supports 2 states, normal and hovered. Note that ItemRenderers are very expensive to create in Flex, so always try to keep them as lightweight as possible.

    import mx.core.IDataRenderer;   
    import spark.components.supportClasses.ButtonBase;
    import spark.components.supportClasses.SkinnableComponent;

    public class LearningRenderer extends SkinnableComponent implements IDataRenderer

        /** Define the skin parts. */
        public var deleteButton:ButtonBase;

        public function LearningRenderer()
            // Set the skin class.
            setStyle("skinClass", LearningRendererSkin);
            // Add event listeners to support HOVERED.
            addEventListener(MouseEvent.ROLL_OVER, rollOverHandler);
            addEventListener(MouseEvent.ROLL_OUT, rollOutHandler);

        /** Implement the partAdded() method. */
        override protected function partAdded(partName:String, instance:Object):void 
            super.partAdded(partName, instance);
            if(instance == deleteButton){
                instance.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, button_clickHandler);

        /** Implement the partRemoved() method. */
        override protected function partRemoved(partName:String, instance:Object):void
            if(instance == deleteButton){
                instance.removeEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, button_clickHandler);

        /** Implement the getCurrentSkinState() method. */
        override protected function getCurrentSkinState():String 
            var returnState:String = "normal";
            if (bRollOver)
                returnState = "hovered";
            return returnState;

        public function get data():Object
            return _data;

        public function set data(value:Object):void
            _data = value;

        /** Add methods, properties, and metadata. */
        private var _data:Object;
        private var bRollOver:Boolean = false;

         * Handlers
        protected function button_clickHandler(eventObj:MouseEvent):void {
            //Handle click

        protected function rollOverHandler(eventObj:MouseEvent):void{
            bRollOver = true;

        protected function rollOutHandler(eventObj:MouseEvent):void{
            bRollOver = false;


And this is the skin with the required deleteButton:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<s:Skin xmlns:fx="" 
    <!-- host component -->
    <!-- states -->
        <s:State name="normal" />
        <s:State name="hovered" />
    <s:Button id="deleteButton" label="Delete"/>        

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