Change the appearance of Radio Buttons in ControlP5

By default Radio Buttons in ControlP5 are squares. (shown in following figure)
In my opinion, they seems to be littile unintiutive for a new user.

Is it possible to change their appearance to conventional type radio buttons ?
For example as in image below ?
conventional radio buttons

If yes, please tell me how to do it.

Hi @Ghostsss,

not that easy and impractical imho …
(used the controlP5.RadioButton example as basis of the code below and modified it)

— mnse

PS: Better have a look on G4P library … (Example: G4P_ControlPalette)

* ControlP5 RadioButton
* find a list of public methods available for the RadioButton Controller
* at the bottom of this sketch.
* by Andreas Schlegel, 2012

import controlP5.*;

ControlP5 cp5;
PGraphics cimgDefault,cimgOver,cimgActive;

int myColorBackground = color(0,0,0);

RadioButton r1, r2;

void setup() {

  // create images 
  cimgDefault = createGraphics(32,32);

  cimgOver = createGraphics(32,32);

  cimgActive = createGraphics(32,32);

  cp5 = new ControlP5(this);
  r1 = cp5.addRadioButton("radioButton")
         .setImages(cimgDefault,cimgOver,cimgActive)   // set the images
  // add labels 
  PFont myfont = createFont("Georgia",14);
  for (int i = 0; i < r1.getItems().size();i++) {   
    cp5.addTextlabel("label " + i)
          .setText("Label " + i)          

void draw() {

void keyPressed() {
  switch(key) {
    case('0'): r1.deactivateAll(); break;
    case('1'): r1.activate(0); break;
    case('2'): r1.activate(1); break;
    case('3'): r1.activate(2); break;
    case('4'): r1.activate(3); break;
    case('5'): r1.activate(4); break;

void controlEvent(ControlEvent theEvent) {
  if(theEvent.isFrom(r1)) {
    print("got an event from "+theEvent.getName()+"\t");
    for(int i=0;i<theEvent.getGroup().getArrayValue().length;i++) {
    println("\t "+theEvent.getValue());
    myColorBackground = color(int(theEvent.getGroup().getValue()*50),0,0);

void radioButton(int a) {
  println("a radio Button event: "+a);

a list of all methods available for the RadioButton Controller
use ControlP5.printPublicMethodsFor(RadioButton.class);
to print the following list into the console.

You can find further details about class RadioButton in the javadoc.

ClassName : returnType methodName(parameter type)

controlP5.ControlGroup : RadioButton activateEvent(boolean) 
controlP5.ControlGroup : RadioButton addListener(ControlListener) 
controlP5.ControlGroup : RadioButton removeListener(ControlListener) 
controlP5.ControlGroup : RadioButton setBackgroundColor(int) 
controlP5.ControlGroup : RadioButton setBackgroundHeight(int) 
controlP5.ControlGroup : RadioButton setBarHeight(int) 
controlP5.ControlGroup : RadioButton setSize(int, int) 
controlP5.ControlGroup : RadioButton updateInternalEvents(PApplet) 
controlP5.ControlGroup : String getInfo() 
controlP5.ControlGroup : String toString() 
controlP5.ControlGroup : int getBackgroundHeight() 
controlP5.ControlGroup : int getBarHeight() 
controlP5.ControlGroup : int listenerSize() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : CColor getColor() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : Canvas addCanvas(Canvas) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : ControlWindow getWindow() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : Controller getController(String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : ControllerProperty getProperty(String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : ControllerProperty getProperty(String, String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : Label getCaptionLabel() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : Label getValueLabel() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton add(ControllerInterface) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton addListener(ControlListener) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton bringToFront() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton bringToFront(ControllerInterface) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton close() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton disableCollapse() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton enableCollapse() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton hide() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton hideArrow() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton hideBar() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton moveTo(ControlWindow) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton moveTo(PApplet) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton open() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton registerProperty(String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton registerProperty(String, String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton remove(CDrawable) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton remove(ControllerInterface) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton removeCanvas(Canvas) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton removeListener(ControlListener) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton removeProperty(String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton removeProperty(String, String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setAddress(String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setArrayValue(float[]) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setArrayValue(int, float) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setCaptionLabel(String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setColor(CColor) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setColorActive(int) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setColorBackground(int) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setColorForeground(int) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setColorLabel(int) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setColorValue(int) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setHeight(int) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setId(int) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setLabel(String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setMouseOver(boolean) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setMoveable(boolean) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setOpen(boolean) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setPosition(float, float) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setPosition(float[]) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setSize(int, int) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setStringValue(String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setTitle(String) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setUpdate(boolean) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setValue(float) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setVisible(boolean) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton setWidth(int) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton show() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton showArrow() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton showBar() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton update() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : RadioButton updateAbsolutePosition() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : String getAddress() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : String getInfo() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : String getName() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : String getStringValue() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : String toString() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : Tab getTab() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : boolean isBarVisible() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : boolean isCollapse() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : boolean isMouseOver() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : boolean isMoveable() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : boolean isOpen() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : boolean isUpdate() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : boolean isVisible() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : boolean setMousePressed(boolean) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : float getArrayValue(int) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : float getValue() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : float[] getArrayValue() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : float[] getPosition() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : int getHeight() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : int getId() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : int getWidth() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : int listenerSize() 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : void controlEvent(ControlEvent) 
controlP5.ControllerGroup : void remove() 
controlP5.RadioButton : List getItems() 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton activate(String) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton activate(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton addItem(String, float) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton addItem(Toggle, float) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton align(int, int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton align(int[]) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton alignX(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton alignY(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton deactivate(String) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton deactivate(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton deactivateAll() 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton hideLabels() 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton plugTo(Object) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton plugTo(Object, String) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton removeItem(String) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setArrayValue(float[]) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setColorLabels(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setImage(PImage) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setImage(PImage, int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setImages(PImage, PImage, PImage) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setItemHeight(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setItemWidth(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setItemsPerRow(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setLabelPadding(int, int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setNoneSelectedAllowed(boolean) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setSize(PImage) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setSize(int, int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setSpacingColumn(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton setSpacingRow(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton showLabels() 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton toUpperCase(boolean) 
controlP5.RadioButton : RadioButton toggle(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : String getInfo() 
controlP5.RadioButton : Toggle getItem(String) 
controlP5.RadioButton : Toggle getItem(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : boolean getState(String) 
controlP5.RadioButton : boolean getState(int) 
controlP5.RadioButton : int[] getAlign() 
controlP5.RadioButton : void updateLayout() 
java.lang.Object : String toString() 
java.lang.Object : boolean equals(Object) 

created: 2015/03/24 12:21:19
1 Like

Swing alternative if you’re willing to learn a little java:

import java.awt.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.event.*;

javax.swing.JFrame frame;
java.awt.Canvas canvas;
JLabel label;

final int _wndW = 400;
final int _wndH = 250;

class Listener implements ActionListener {
  public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent evnt) {
    String selection = evnt.getActionCommand();
    label.setText("Selection = " + selection);
Listener listener;

void label() {
  label = new JLabel();
  label.setBounds(60, 40, 250, 30);

void radioGroup() {
  ButtonGroup btnGroup = new ButtonGroup();
  JRadioButton btn1 = new JRadioButton("Button 1");
  JRadioButton btn2 = new JRadioButton("Button 2");
  JRadioButton btn3 = new JRadioButton("Button 3");

  btn1.setBounds(130, 70, 100, 24);
  btn2.setBounds(130, 100, 100, 24);
  btn3.setBounds(130, 130, 100, 24);



  btn1.addActionListener(new Listener());
  btn2.addActionListener(new Listener());
  btn3.addActionListener(new Listener());


  // default selection
  label.setText("Selection = Button 1");

void buildWnd() {

void setup() {
  frame = (javax.swing.JFrame) ((processing.awt.PSurfaceAWT.SmoothCanvas) surface.getNative()).getFrame();
  canvas = (processing.awt.PSurfaceAWT.SmoothCanvas) ((processing.awt.PSurfaceAWT)surface).getNative();
  frame.setBounds(500, 300, _wndW, _wndH);
  surface.setTitle("Radio Button Group Demo");

  javax.swing.SwingUtilities.invokeLater(new Runnable() {
    public void run() {
      buildWnd(); // Builds components on EventDispatchThread



Thank you very much both of you. Both solutions are really helpful.

Thanks a lot for the example code.

Why cimgOver is not being displayed when mouse is over toggle button ?
It should be displayed, I don’t understand why it is not being displayed.

Please Help me understand.

Hi @Ghostsss,

It depends on how ControlP5 RadioButton is implemented…

I’ve expected the same beforehand and also wondered why not. After looking at the sourcecode I saw that even if one can set the OVER image it isn’t used at all for the image based RadioButton. The display method only have two states on/off which are handled, but not hover…

— mnse

1 Like

Thank you very much.

So hover can only be used with default buttons.
And for image based toggle, only default and active can be used.
Right ?


Guess, there would be also a way to override the P5 Controller to change that behaviour but haven’t the time to try and test now…

— mnse

1 Like

Thank you very much for all the help.

Hi @Ghostsss,

even if already said impractible and not want to implement the whole chain for the Component (as the ControlP5 not allowing to do it an easy way), you can do for example that quick hack in draw.

void draw() {
  for (Toggle t: r1.getItems()) {   
    if (t.isMouseOver()) {
      image(cimgOver,t.getAbsolutePosition()[0] + t.getPosition()[0],t.getAbsolutePosition()[1] + t.getPosition()[1]);

— mnse

1 Like

Wow, this is cool way to do it.
Thank you very much.