IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK Help


One of the leading design principles is avoiding the use of modal message boxes for notifying the user about errors and other situations that may warrant the user's attention. As a replacement, the IntelliJ Platform provides multiple non-modal notification UI options.


When working in a dialog, instead of checking the validity of the input when the OK button is pressed and notifying the user about invalid data with a modal dialog, the recommended approach is to use DialogWrapper.doValidate(), described in the Dialogs section.

Editor Hints

For actions invoked from the editor (such as refactorings, navigation actions, and different code insight features), the best way to notify the user about the inability to perform an action is to use the HintManager class. Its method showErrorHint() displays a floating popup above the editor which is automatically hidden when the user starts performing another action in the editor. Other HintManager methods can be used for displaying other kinds of non-modal notification hints over an editor.

Editor Banner

For UI reference, see Banner in UI Guidelines.

Notifications that appear at the top of the file editor are a great way to ask the user to take an important action that would otherwise impede their experience if ignored (e.g., missing SDK, setup/project configuration requiring user input).

Register an implementation of EditorNotifications.Provider using com.intellij.editorNotificationProvider extension point. If access to indexes is not required, it can be marked dumb aware.

A commonly used UI implementation is EditorNotificationPanel.

"Got It" Notification

Use to highlight important new/changed features via GotItTooltip. See Got It Tooltip in UI Guidelines for an overview.

Top-Level Notifications (Balloons)

The most general way to display non-modal notifications is to use the Notifications class.

It has two main advantages:

  • The user can control the way each notification type is displayed under Settings | Appearance & Behavior | Notifications

  • All displayed notifications are gathered in the Event Log tool window and can be reviewed later

For UI reference, see Balloon in UI Guidelines.

The specific method used to display a notification is Notifications.Bus.notify(). If the current Project is known, please use overload with Project parameter, so the notification is shown in its associated frame.

The text of the notification can include HTML tags for presentation purposes. Use Notification.addAction(AnAction) to add links below the content, use NotificationAction for convenience.

The groupId parameter of the Notification constructor specifies a notification type. The user can choose the display type corresponding to each notification type under Settings | Appearance & Behavior | Notifications.

To specify the preferred display type, you need to use NotificationGroup to create notifications.

Please see the following steps for setup, depending on the target platform version.

NotificationGroup is registered in plugin.xml using com.intellij.notificationGroup extension point. Use key to provide a localized group display name.

<extensions defaultExtensionNs="com.intellij"> <notificationGroup id="Custom Notification Group" displayType="BALLOON" key=""/> </extensions>

Registered instances can then be obtained via their id.

public class MyNotifier { public static void notifyError(Project project, String content) { NotificationGroupManager.getInstance() .getNotificationGroup("Custom Notification Group") .createNotification(content, NotificationType.ERROR) .notify(project); } }

NotificationGroup is registered in code.

public class MyNotifier { private static final NotificationGroup NOTIFICATION_GROUP = new NotificationGroup("Custom Notification Group", NotificationDisplayType.BALLOON, true); public static void notifyError(Project project, String content) { NOTIFICATION_GROUP.createNotification(content, NotificationType.ERROR) .notify(project); } }
Last modified: 13 July 2024