JavaFX: How to change the focus traversal policy?


Is it possible in JavaFX to change the focus traversal policy, like in AWT?

Because the traversal order for two of my HBoxes is wrong.

5/7/2015 10:43:04 AM

Accepted Answer

In common case the navigation is done in a container order, in order of children, or according to arrow keys pressing. You can change order of nodes - it will be the optimal solution for you in this situation.

There is a back door in JFX about traversal engine strategy substitution :

you can subclass the internal class com.sun.javafx.scene.traversal.TraversalEngine

engine = new TraversalEngine(this, false) {
            @Override public void trav(Node owner, Direction dir) {
                // do whatever you want

And use


call to apply that engine.

You can observe the code of OpenJFX, to understand, how it works, and what you can do.

Be very careful : it is an internal API, and it is likely to change, possibly, in the nearest future. So don't rely on this (you cannot rely on this officialy, anyway).

Sample implementation :

public void start(Stage stage) throws Exception {
    final VBox vb = new VBox();

    final Button button1 = new Button("Button 1");
    final Button button2 = new Button("Button 2");
    final Button button3 = new Button("Button 3");

    TraversalEngine engine = new TraversalEngine(vb, false) {
        public void trav(Node node, Direction drctn) {
            int index = vb.getChildren().indexOf(node);

            switch (drctn) {
                case DOWN:
                case RIGHT:
                case NEXT:
                case LEFT:
                case PREVIOUS:
                case UP:

            if (index < 0) {
                index = vb.getChildren().size() - 1;
            index %= vb.getChildren().size();

            System.out.println("Select <" + index + ">");



    vb.getChildren().addAll(button1, button2, button3);
    Scene scene = new Scene(vb);

It will require strong analitical skills for common case ;)

3/6/2013 2:49:45 PM

The simplest solution is to edit the FXML file and reorder the containers appropriately. As an example, my current application has a registration dialog in which a serial number can be entered. There are 5 text fields for this purpose. For the focus to pass from one text field to the other correctly, I had to list them in this way:

<TextField fx:id="tfSerial1" layoutX="180.0" layoutY="166.0" prefWidth="55.0" />
<TextField fx:id="tfSerial2" layoutX="257.0" layoutY="166.0" prefWidth="55.0" />
<TextField fx:id="tfSerial3" layoutX="335.0" layoutY="166.0" prefWidth="55.0" />
<TextField fx:id="tfSerial4" layoutX="412.0" layoutY="166.0" prefWidth="55.0" />
<TextField fx:id="tfSerial5" layoutX="488.0" layoutY="166.0" prefWidth="55.0" />

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