Chapter 17

Creating Windows


  • How you create and display a resizable window
  • What components and containers are
  • How you can add components to a window
  • How you can control the layout of components
  • How you create a menu bar and menus for a window
  • What a menu shortcut is and how you can add a shortcut for a menu item
  • What the restrictions on the capabilities of an applet are
  • How to convert an application into an applet

Until now, the programs you have been creating have perhaps not been what you may instinctively think of as useful programs. You can’t expect a user to be prepared to enter all the input and get all the output on the command line. A more practical program is window-based, with one or more windows that provide the interface between the user and the application. These windows, and the environment that the user interacts with, are known as the graphical user interface (GUI).

In this chapter you investigate how to create a window for a Java application, and you take a first look at some of the components you can assemble to create a graphical user interface in Java.


There is a vast amount of functionality in the Java class libraries devoted to supporting graphical user interface (GUI) creation and management, far more than it is feasible to cover in a single book — even if it is big. Just the JFrame class, which you begin to explore in a moment, contains more than 200 methods when you include those inherited ...

Get Ivor Horton's Beginning Java®, Java 7 Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.