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Trail: Creating a GUI with JFC/Swing

Lesson: Using Swing Components

This lesson gives you the background information you need to use the Swing components, and then describes every Swing component. It assumes that you've successfully compiled and run a program that uses Swing components, and that you're familiar with basic Swing concepts. These prerequisites are covered in Getting Started with Swing (in the Creating a GUI with JFC/Swing trail) and Learning Swing by Example (in the Creating a GUI with JFC/Swing trail).

A Visual Index to the Swing Components

This section has pictures of all the standard Swing components, from top-level containers to scroll panes to buttons. To find the section that discusses a particular component, just click the component's picture.

Using HTML in Swing Components

Describes how to vary the font, color, or other formatting of text displayed by Swing components by using HTML tags.

Using Top-Level Containers

Discusses how to use the features shared by the JFrame, JDialog, and JApplet classes — content panes, menu bars, and root panes. It also discusses the containment hierarchy, which refers to the tree of components contained by a top-level container.

Using Models

Tells you about the Swing model architecture. This variation on Model-View-Controller (MVC) means that you can, if you wish, specify how the data and state of a Swing component are stored and retrieved. The benefits are the ability to share data and state between components, and to greatly improve the performance of components such as tables that display large amounts of data.

The JComponent Class

Tells you about the features JComponent provides to its subclasses — which include almost all Swing components — and gives tips on how to take advantage of these features. This section ends with API tables describing the commonly used API defined by JComponent and its superclasses, Container and Component.

Using Text Components

Describes the features and API shared by all components that descend from JTextComponent. You probably don't need to read this section if you're just using text fields (formatted or not) or text areas.

How to...

Sections on how to use each Swing component, in alphabetical order. We don't expect you to read these sections in order. Instead, we recommend reading the relevant "How to" sections once you're ready to start using Swing components in your own programs. For example, if your program needs a frame, a label, a button, and a color chooser, you should read How to Make Frames, How to Use Labels, How to Use Buttons, and How to Use Color Choosers.

Solving Common Component Problems

This section discusses solutions to common component-related problems.

Questions and Exercises (in the Creating a GUI with JFC/Swing trail)

Try these questions and exercises to test what you've learned in this lesson.

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