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RichTextFX provides a memory-efficient text area for JavaFX that allows the developer to style ranges of text, display custom objects in-line (no more HTMLEditor), and override specific default behaviors only where necessary.

The library does not follow the model-view-controller paradigm, which prevents access to view-specific APIs (e.g., obtaining caret/selection/character bounds, programmic scrolling, and such).

Use the library as a foundation for building rich text editors and code editors that offer syntax highlighting. Being a foundation, many features will not be implemented in this project (such as language-specific syntax highlighters, search-and-replace, hyperlink support, and similar). Rather, developers may implement these features then submit the work as a PR to the richtextfx-demos package.

For further details about RichTextFX, its design principles, how it works, and applying CSS styling, see the wiki.



Standalone applications that demonstrate RichTextFX features may be found in the RichTextFX demos directory.

Table of Contents

Who uses RichTextFX?

Let us know if you use RichTextFX in your project!


  • Assign arbitrary styles to arbitrary ranges of text. A style can be an object, a CSS string, or a style class string.
  • Display line numbers or, more generally, any graphic in front of each paragraph. Can be used to show breakpoint toggles on each line of code.
  • Support for displaying other Nodes in-line.
  • Positioning a popup window relative to the caret or selection. Useful e.g. to position an autocompletion box.
  • Getting the character index under the mouse when the mouse stays still over the text for a specified period of time. Useful for displaying tooltips depending on the word under the mouse.
  • Overriding the default behavior only where necessary without overriding any other part.


The following explains the different rich text area classes. The first one is the base class from which all others extend: it needs further customization before it can be used but provides all aspects of the project's features. The later ones extend this base class in various ways to provide out-of-box functionality for specific use cases. Most will use one of these subclasses.


GenericStyledArea allows one to inline custom objects into the area alongside of text. As such, it uses generics and functional programming to accomplish this task in a completely type-safe way.

It has the following parameter types:

  • PS, the paragraph style. This can be used for text alignment or setting the background color for the entire paragraph. A paragraph is either one line when text wrap is off or a long text displayed over multiple lines in a narrow viewport when text wrap is on.
  • SEG, the segment object. This specifies what immutable object to store in the model part of the area: text, hyperlinks, images, emojis, or any combination thereof.
  • S, the segment style. This can be used for text and object styling. Usually, this will be a CSS style or CSS style class.

Functional programming via lambdas specify how to apply styles, how to create a Node for a given segment, and how to operate on a given segment (e.g., getting its length, combining it with another segment, etc.).

GenericStyledArea is used in the Rich-text demo.

See the wiki for a basic pattern that one must follow to implement custom objects correctly.


StyledTextArea<PS, S>, or one of its subclasses below, is the area you will most likely use if you don't need to display custom objects in your area.

It extends GenericStyledArea<PS, StyledText<S>, S>>. StyledText is simply a text (String) and a style object (S). A slightly-enhanced JavaFX Text node is used to display the StyledText<S>, so you can style it using its CSS properties and additional RichTextFX-specific CSS (see the wiki for more details).

It properly handles the aforementioned functional programming to properly display and operate on StyledText<S> objects.

The style object (S) can either be a CSS String (-fx-fill: red;), a CSS styleclass (.red { -fx-fill: red; }), or an object that handles this in a different way. Since most will use either the CSS String or CSS style class approach, there are two subclasses that already handle this correctly.


InlineCssTextArea uses the Node#setStyle(String cssStyle) method to style Text objects:

area.setStyle(from, to, "-fx-font-weight: bold;");


StyleClassedTextArea uses the Node#setStyleClass(String styleClass) method to style Text objects. You can define the style classes in your stylesheet.


.red { -fx-fill: red; }

area.setStyleClass(from, to, "red");

This renders the text in the range (from, to) in red.


CodeArea is a variant of StyleClassedTextArea that uses a fixed width font by default, making it a convenient base for source code editors. CodeArea is used in the Java Keywords demo.


JDK11 or higher is required. (Can still be compiled with JDK9 if needed)


Stable release

Current stable release is 0.11.2 which is ONLY compatible with Java 11 and UP.

Maven coordinates

Group ID Artifact ID Version
org.fxmisc.richtext richtextfx 0.11.2

Maven Central

Gradle example

dependencies {
    compile group: 'org.fxmisc.richtext', name: 'richtextfx', version: '0.11.2'

Sbt example

libraryDependencies += "org.fxmisc.richtext" % "richtextfx" % "0.11.2"

Manual download

Download the JAR file or the fat JAR file (including dependencies) and place it on your classpath.

Snapshot releases

Snapshot releases are deployed to Sonatype snapshot repository.

Maven coordinates

Group ID Artifact ID Version
org.fxmisc.richtext richtextfx 1.0.0-SNAPSHOT

Gradle example

repositories {
    maven {
        url ''

dependencies {
    compile group: 'org.fxmisc.richtext', name: 'richtextfx', version: '1.0.0-SNAPSHOT'

Sbt example

resolvers += "Sonatype OSS Snapshots" at ""

libraryDependencies += "org.fxmisc.richtext" % "richtextfx" % "1.0.0-SNAPSHOT"


Dual-licensed under BSD 2-Clause License and GPLv2 with the Classpath Exception.