Is It Possible To Have A Link In A Piece Of Free Flowing Text In JavaFX?

- 1 answer

I'm using labels for some long pieces of text that explain things about my application and I want some of those words to be links that can trigger things. Is there a way to do that on JavaFX?

I'm aware of the Hyperlink element but that's not what I want. I only want part of the text to be a link, not all of it.



Some options:

  1. Use Hyperlink and Text elements in a TextFlow. This will need a little work to make it production quality.
  2. Use RichTextFX, which allows you to style individual text elements via CSS, and also allows you to get the character index at a mouse event.
  3. Use HTML for your text and display it in a WebView. If you want the links to work simply as links, then that will work out of the box; you could also use Javascript to call back to your JavaFX Application if you wanted more control over handling events on them.

A demo of options 1 and 3 is:

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.control.Hyperlink;
import javafx.scene.control.ScrollPane;
import javafx.scene.layout.Priority;
import javafx.scene.layout.VBox;
import javafx.scene.text.Text;
import javafx.scene.text.TextFlow;
import javafx.scene.web.WebEngine;
import javafx.scene.web.WebView;
import javafx.stage.Stage;
import netscape.javascript.JSObject;

public class TextFlowHyperlinkTest extends Application {

    private final static String TEXT = 
            "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, "
            + "sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. "
            + "Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris "
            + "nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in "
            + "reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu "
            + "fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, "
            + "sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum." ;

    public void start(Stage primaryStage) {
        TextFlow textFlow = new TextFlow();

        for (String word : TEXT.split("\\s")) {
            // arbitraily make some words hyperlinks:
            if (word.length() == 6) {
                Hyperlink hyperlink = new Hyperlink(word);
                hyperlink.setOnAction(e -> System.out.println("Click on "+word));
            } else {
                textFlow.getChildren().add(new Text(word+" "));

        ScrollPane textFlowScroller = new ScrollPane(textFlow);
        VBox.setVgrow(textFlowScroller, Priority.ALWAYS);

        WebView webView = new WebView();
        WebEngine engine = webView.getEngine();
        engine.documentProperty().addListener((obs, oldDoc, newDoc) -> {
            if (newDoc != null) {
                JSObject window = (JSObject) engine.executeScript("window");
                window.setMember("app", this);
        StringBuilder html = new StringBuilder();
        html.append("<html><body><div name='text'>");
        for (String word : TEXT.split("\\s")) {
            if (word.length() == 6) {
                html.append("<a href='#' onclick='app.process(\""+word+"\")'>")
                    .append(word).append("</a> ");
            } else {
                html.append(word).append(" ");

        VBox.setVgrow(webView, Priority.ALWAYS);

        Scene scene = new Scene(new VBox(10, textFlowScroller, webView), 400, 600);

    public void process(String text) {
        System.out.println("Click on "+text);

    public static void main(String[] args) {