Swingbox Javahelp Viewer - plugin detail

Swingbox-javahelp-viewer plugin replaces default Javahelp content viewer by a content viewer based on SwingBox BrowserPane component.

NetBeans Plugin - Swingbox Javahelp Viewer
Plugin owner: mantlik
Website: http://swingbox-javahelp-viewer.googlecode.com
Added: 2012-12-11
License: LGPLv3
Category: Desktop Applications
Downloaded: 2,689 times
 4.24, by 1 users

Plugin Log Show log

Versions available

Download plugin   Download size: 1.94 MB   Last Update: 2013-03-02

This plugin is also available on the NetBeans Plugin Portal Update Center. Use 'Tools > Plugins' action from the NetBeans IDE main menu for convenient installation of this plugin

What's new in this version

Swingbox Javahelp Viewer plugin version 1.1.1

Changes from the previous version:

  • Fixed problem with double rendering on some systems (reported at MacOSX).
  • Fixed Netbeans freezing when help page contains object tag.
  • Added simple support for object tags specific to Nebeans JavaHelp.
    The object's text is rendered as blue text providing support for opening content reference in the external browser.
  • Fixed problem with ignoring length parameters in style when unit was not provided.
  • Fixed HTML content rendering problem after Help window was opened.

Verifications for NetBeans versions

7.2 verification PASSED See verification details


When help window is first open in a Netbeans RCP application, a content viewer component based on Swingbox BrowserPane is created and replaces original Javahelp content viewer. All following Javahelp requests are handled by the new component.


  • Swingbox viewer is based on CSSBox rendering engine. It serves more advanced rendering capabilities than built-in Javahelp viewer
  • Support of HTML v.4.0 and CSS v.2.1
  • In the contrary to the Javahelp system, CSSBox package is under active development, future enhancements could be expected.


Users can install the plugin using RCP application plugin manager. Open plugin manager selecting Tools-Plugins from the application menu. At the Download tab click Add plugin button and locate downloaded .nbm file. Finally press the Install button and follow installation wizard. Stable version of the plugin is available in the Netbeans Plugin Portal update center. You can check the Plugin Portal checkbox at the Settings tab and the plugin will appear in the list of Available plugins.
Developers can integrate the plugin into their application by defining dependency of an application's module containing a helpset on the plugin module. E.g. Netbeans Maven application module can easily include the plugin this way:
  • Include swingbox-javahelp-viewer distribution repository into your main project repositories list in it's pom.xml:
  • In any module containing a help set include dependecy in the module's pom.xml:


  • Reference of type <a href="mailto:..."></a> is not supported.
  • When Help window is first opened, Javahelp component displays content for a while until Swingbox component is created. This can temporarily distort user experience. Any consequent help request is opened in the Swingbox component without further delay.


Any feedback is welcome at the Issue Tracking page. Developers are encouraged to checkout or clone the Git Repository and submit their patches/improvements.


This project is based on ideas presented at the following resources:

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User Comments


Same problem

Hi,there's still a UI problem that affects NetBeans.
A screenshot: http://tof.canardpc.com/view/c0993c52-eb6a-415d-b92c-d9e627522d2e.jpg
Do you think there's a workaround ? (it is designed to be embedded with RCP applications : maybe you could distribute it has a simple library, and do not affect the NetBeans IDE)
In this state, the plugin is not usable. See http://wiki.netbeans.org/PluginPortalQualityCriteria for plugins Quality Criteria.

[edit/reminder] Opened bug http://netbeans.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=226201
Posted by ent38 on Feb 15, 2013

Font style becomes fuzzy for some sections of the help pages

Hi there,

I got a problem with the plugin. The text for several pages in several sections only are totally unreadable... this does not happen in the normal help so there may be a problem in the font, or styles used by the plugin.
I entered a bug entry in your google site:

I included a screenshot so you can see exactly what I mean.

Posted by carlosqt on Jan 12, 2013

Re: Problems with plugin

To ent38 comment:

The left margin problem is caused by Netbeans Javahelp style which does not present units with margins. See the last point in the "Limitations" section of the plugin description for more details. The plugin is primarily mentioned to be embedded with RCP applications which will provide their own helpset with a compatible style.css.

Concerning dialogs look change, when Help is opened for the first time, JHelp content viewer UI is replaced with new SwingboxContentViewerUI. I do not have any clue why it should influence appearance of any other window component.
Posted by mantlik on Dec 17, 2012

Re, OK

New version forks fine, thx!

I don't know if it's the normal behavior, but there are two little problems (enhancements, not bugs) :

- The Help contents seem to have a problem with left margin. See the screenshot: http://tof.canardpc.com/view/8e08d9d9-00cc-48e5-9024-ff6c314c278c.jpg
- The plugin seems to affect other dialogs, like the Plugin Manager (you have to show the Help a first time, after that, some other dialogs are affected) : http://tof.canardpc.com/view/6795a197-a9f8-4e6b-a6ec-1a561035f040.jpg
Posted by ent38 on Dec 14, 2012

Nogo (exception at each NB startup)

I couldn't validate the plugin: I get an exception at each NetBeans startup.
Opened bug entry : http://netbeans.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=223678

Could you take a look at this ?
Posted by ent38 on Dec 11, 2012