Installer - Configuring Form Components

  For more information on form screens and related concepts, please see the corresponding help topic.

Please see the list of available form components that come with install4j.

  The  Add button shows a popup window where you can select whether to add
  • a form component. Form components are made available by install4j or are contributed by an installed extension. A registry dialog will be shown where you can select the desired form component.
  • a form component that is contained in your custom code. New types of reusable form components can be developed with the install4j API. In your custom code configuration you can specify code locations that are scanned for suitable classes. A class selector will be shown where you can select the desired class.
  • a layout group, either a vertical group or a horizontal group. The new layout group is initially empty. Note that you can also create layout groups directly from a selection in the tree of installer elements (see below).

If you select a single form component in the list of form components, you can edit its properties on the right side. Selecting multiple form components is possible on the same tree level, i.e. all selected elements have to be siblings in the tree.

When the configuration area is focused, you can transfer the focus back to the list of form components with the keyboard by pressing ALT-F1.

The list of form components provides the following actions in the toolbar on the right that operate on the current selection. You can also access these actions from the context menu or use the associated keyboard shortcuts.

  • Delete
    All selected form components will be deleted after a confirmation dialog when invoking the  Delete action. The deleted form components cannot be restored.
  • Rename
    After you add a form component, the list of form components shows it with its default name. This is often enough, however, if you have multiple instances of the same form component alongside, a custom name makes it easier to distinguish these instances. You can assign a custom name to each form component with the  Rename action. The default name is still displayed in brackets after the custom name. To revert to the default, just enter an empty custom name in the rename dialog.
  • Comment
    By default, form components have no comments associated with them. You can add comments to selected form components with the  Add Comments action. When a comment is added, the affected form components will receive a "Comments" tab. After adding a comment to a single form component, the comment area is focused automatically. Likewise, you can remove comments from one or more form components with the Remove Comments action.

    In order to visit all comments, you can use the Show next comment and Show previous comment actions. These actions will focus the comment area automatically and wrap around if no further comments can be found.

  • Disable
    In order to "comment out" form components, you can use the  Disable action. The configuration of the disabled form components will not be displayed, their entries in the list of form components will be shown in gray and they will not be checked for errors when the project is built.
  • Copy and paste
    install4j offers an inter-process clipboard for form components. You can  Cut or  Copy form components to the clipboard and  Paste them in the same or a different instance of install4j. Note that references to launchers or references to files in the distribution tree might not be valid after pasting to a different project.

    Pasted form components are appended to the end of the list of form components.

  • Reorder
    If your selection is a single contiguous interval, you can move the entire block  up or  down in the list. The selection can only be moved on the same level with the reorder actions. To move the selection to a different parent, you can cut and paste it (see above).
  • Group
    You can create a layout group from the selected form components with the  Create Horizontal Group and  Create Vertical Group actions. The new group will be inserted in place of the selected elements.

    You can dissolve a group with the Dissolve Group action. This action is only enabled if the selection consists of a single layout group. The elements contained in the group will be inserted in place of the group. Nested groups will not be dissolved.

  Common properties of form components are:
  • Insets [Layout]
    This insets around the form component. The format is top;left;bottom;right, use the drop-down button at the right side to show the insets editor.
  • Initialization script [Initialization]
    A script that initializes the form component. To configure the contained principal component, such as a JCheckBox, use the configurationObject parameter (if available). This script will run after the internal initialization of the form component, just before the component appears on the screen. It will not be invoked in console mode.
  • Reset initialization on previous [Initialization]
    If set, the component will be initialized each time the user enters in the forward direction. Otherwise, the initialization will be performed only once. This setting affects both the internal initialization as well as the initialization script.
  • Visibility script [Initialization]
    A script that determines whether the form component will be visible or not. This works for both GUI and console modes. In GUI mode, the script will be invoked each time just before the form component is initialized.
  You can preview a form screen with the  Preview button which is also available on the property page of a screen. For screens that embed forms, the preview may not show the actual screen. However, the layout of the form itself will be the same at runtime.