Setting Up Processing with Intellij

Processing is really cool. It’s a super simple library that helps visual designers write code to create amazing art. I, however, am not a visual designer and am a programmer. So when I started up the Processing app, I was kind of bummed to see that it was just Java but in an inferior IDE. I wanted to use it in Intellij IDEA.

First step, was creating a new project in Intellij. This is a simple step, but the thing that tripped me up here was that Processing requires JDK 1.8. At the point of writing this, I had JDK 10 by default, so I had to install it and add it to Intellij. After that, I was able to set the Project SDK to 1.8. I also selected Maven.

Once everything came up, I added a new dependency (cmd-N, Generate Dependency Template) and added org.processing:core:3.3.7.

My pom.xml looked like this after adding the org.processing:core:3.3.7 dependency.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns=""



Next step was creating a really quick way to run sketches. Created a new class in src/main/java called I extended the class with PApplet and added a settings and main methods. The class then looked like this.


import processing.core.PApplet;
import processing.core.PFont;

public class Hello extends PApplet {
  public void settings() {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    PApplet.runSketch(new String[]{"Hello"}, new Hello());

Right-click in that file to Create 'Hello.main()'..., click OK, then ran the file. I was able to see my fonts and a little Processing window came up. Now I can do all the processing stuff and it comes up in that little window.