Wednesday, March 21, 2007

SWT: cell selection in Table

The SWT Table allows only to select rows, not the cells in the rows.
This is a strong limitation for applications that use tables to do something more complex than showing the content of database tables.

In Matrex I needed to import xls (Excel) files and select from them rectangles of cells to add as matrices.
So, I built the TableWithCellSelection class, which allows the user to select rectangles of cells in the table.

It works listening the mouseMove, mouseDown and mouseUp events to keep track of the mouse movements and to change the background of the cells when they are selected.
The class works only for tables that are created with the SWT.FULL_SELECTION and SWT.VIRTUAL styles, which means that the table must be virtual.

Features: Clicking SHIFT together with the left mouse button the selection process restarts from a previously selected cells rectangle.

Limitations: It is not possible to scroll the table during the selection. To be able to select big rectangles you can use the SHIFT key.

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