Java JTextArea Question

I am designing an on-screen form to be filled in, and I think it makes sense to stick it together as a collection of text areas. I note in the documentation of JTextArea that a text area can be subdivided into rows and columns, but I can't find any methods that appear to deal with placing text directly in any specific row/column cell in a text area.

Are there such methods, or is there an alternative text component that would work better for this purpose?

Thanks in advance for any insights.

John Doner


A bit hackish, but you could insert (row-1) newlines and (column-1) space characters before your actual content. Of course that would only work on a previously empty text area.

However, you can extend that approach so that you only insert characters if needed, and otherwise just count already existing characters. That is, to go to a row, you skip the first row-1 newlines. Then in that line, you skip the first column-1 characters.

If there aren't enough newlines or characters already in the text area, you add more at the end of the text.

However, it gets trickier if your text content contains newlines itself.

It's doable, but it's gonna be ugly.

If you want a table, there is JTable but it is a bit more complicated. (Here is a tutorial) Alternatively you could put your JTextAreas into a layout such as GridLayout

The row and columns values are just used to give the text area a preferred size.

I don't see the point of trying to set text at a specific row when creating a form. Generally forms would be designed with label/text field pairs, so the user know where there are entering the text.

If you text area is for output then you just add new lines when you want to display text on a different line.

Forcing a text area to be able to insert text at a given row/column is definitely not the way it was intended to be used.

I don't understand the real requirement so I can't make any other suggestions.

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