Java – Convert Java GUI Builder .form files to Source Code

gui-designerjavamatissenetbeans

I have created a fairly substantial Java GUI application with many form windows where the settings are locked up in .form files. I am wondering is there any way to convert or refactor these .form files into real Java source code that I can modify?

The GUI was created using Netbeans 6.5.

Best Solution

My understanding is that the ".form" files are only used by the Netbeans GUI builder to keep track of where the GUI components are. When you add components in the design view, Netbeans automatically updates the actual source (.java) files. You can actually modify these .java files directly to, say, change the label on a button, but if you do it within Netbeans, it will use the .form files to automatically regenerate the source files, destroying your manual changes.

In my experience, once you make the decision to modify the .java files manually, the .form files become out of sync and you will no longer be able to use the Netbeans GUI builder properly.