Using Font Awesome Icons in XPages

In the last post, I showed how to implement Font Awesome in your XPages application. In this post, I’ll show two ways to display Font Awesome icons on your pages.

Option 1 – Pass-through HTML

Font Awesome icons are not XPages controls, so you can add them to your page directly with pass-thru HTML, an <i> tag. The Font Awesome CSS looks for this tag and replaces it with the correct icon, based on the class name that you provide.

Icon tags generally take this form:

<i class="fa fa-XXX"></i>

Here’s an example of the crosshairs icon:

<i class="fa fa-crosshairs"></i>


This page contains all icons and their corresponding class names.

Option 2 – Computed Text

Another option you have for adding an icon within XPages is a computed text control.

Since it’s an xp control, you can do more with it, such as conditionally rendering the icon or conditionally computing the class name to change which icon is displayed.

One way to use a computed text control would be to set the Content type property to HTML (which sets escape="false" in the source) and use JavaScript to compute the HTML output.

Here’s an example that will generate the same icon shown above:

<xp:text escape="false" id="computedField1">
    <![CDATA[#{javascript:return '<i class="fa fa-crosshairs"></i>';}]]>

This adds the icon, but also puts a <span> tag around it (as the Computed Field control always does by default).

Here’s the HTML output:

<span id="view:_id1:computedField1" class="xspTextComputedField">
  <i class="fa fa-crosshairs"></i>

A better method is to use the tagName property of the Computed Field control (as I described in this post).

When you do this, you don’t have to compute any value for the control — just set the tagName to i and set the Class to define the icon that you want. You also don’t have to set the Content type to HTML.

Here’s what it looks like in the XPages source:

<xp:text escape="true" id="computedField2"
  styleClass="fa fa-crosshairs" tagName="i">

This generates only the HTML that you really want for the icon, without the extraneous <span> tag mixed in. Most of the time it’s probably not a big deal, but it has the potential affect your UI.

<i class="fa fa-crosshairs"></i>

More on Using Font Awesome

You can change the size, orientation, and color of Font Awesome icons (and much more!). You can even stack multiple icons (but not in older IE) to create unique images.

Check out this post by Russ Maher or the Font Awesome site for more information.

Up Next

In the next post, I’ll show how to add an event handler to a Font Awesome icon in XPages.


4 responses to “Using Font Awesome Icons in XPages”

  1. Richard Moy says :


    Had you had any problems with having the icons show up in Chrome and Firefox. I had no problem with IE but they are not showing up in these other browsers

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