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Trail: Creating a GUI with JFC/Swing

The Creating a GUI with JFC/Swing trail tells you how to create graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for applications and applets, using the Swing components. The Swing components, which are part of the JavaTM Foundation Classes (JFC), can be used with either JDKTM 1.1 or the JavaTM 2 platform.

Note:  This trail does not tell you how to use the AWT components. If you need to write a JDK 1.0 program or a 1.1 program that doesn't use Swing components, then this trail is not for you! Instead, you can download an archive version of the old UI trail, Creating a User Interface (AWT Only).

Book cover: The JFC Swing Tutorial This trail is available as a book, The JFC Swing Tutorial. Besides having the usual advantages of a book (such as portability and readability) this 950-page tome contains a CD that has API documentation, the JFC 1.1 release, JDK 1.1, Java 2 SDK v1.2.1, the online version of The Java Tutorial, and lots of other goodies.

Getting Started with Swing is a quick start lesson. First it gives you a bit of background about the JFC and Swing. Then it tells you how to compile and run programs -- both applications and applets -- that use Swing components. Finally, it walks you through the code for a simple program.

Swing Features and Concepts gives you the information you need to be able to use Swing components effectively. For example, it tells you how Swing programs display their GUIs, how they handle events such as mouse clicks, and how they can use features such as borders to help with layout. It ends with a discussion of how the features and concepts are used by a real program.

Using Swing Components tells you how to use each of the Swing components -- buttons, tables, text components, and all the rest.

Using Other Swing Features tells you how to use actions, borders, icons, and timers. It also helps you to create multithreaded programs.

Laying Out Components Within a Container tells you how to choose a layout manager, how to use each of the layout manager classes the JavaTM platform provides, how to use absolute positioning instead of a layout manager, and how to create your own layout manager.

Writing Event Listeners tells you how to handle events in your programs.

Working with Graphics tells you how to do everything from drawing lines and text to loading, displaying, and manipulating images. It includes information on performing animation and on improving graphics performance.

Converting to Swing tells you how to convert programs that use the 1.1 AWT API to use the Swing components.

Although this is the main trail for learning about GUIs, it isn't the only trail with UI-related information. Here are some other trails that discuss UI topics:

Your feedback is important to us! If you have comments about this trail, send them to: In your message, put swing in the subject header.

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