ActionListener, ChangeListener and ItemListener

This section provides a tutorial example on how to use ActionListener, ChangeListener and ItemListener interfaces to handle different types of events generated on radio buttons.

As you can see from the previous section, a radio button can have 3 types of event listensers: ActionListener, ChangeListener, and ItemListener. The following sample program shows you when those listeners are called, and how many times:

 * Copyright (c) 2014,, All Rights Reserved.
import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import javax.swing.event.*;
public class JRadioButtonTest {
   public static void main(String[] a) {
      JFrame f = new JFrame("My Radio Buttons");
      ButtonGroup g = new ButtonGroup();
      MyRadioButton b1 = new MyRadioButton("On");
      MyRadioButton b2 = new MyRadioButton("Off");
   private static class MyRadioButton extends JRadioButton 
      implements ActionListener, ChangeListener, ItemListener  {
      static int count = 0;
      String text = null;
      public MyRadioButton(String t) {
         text = t;
      public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
         System.out.println(count+": Action performed - "+text);
      public void stateChanged(ChangeEvent e) {
         System.out.println(count+": State changed on - "+text);
      public void itemStateChanged(ItemEvent e) {
         System.out.println(count+": Item state changed - "+text);

This example program creates two radio buttons and puts them in a single button group. Each button has 3 listeners to handle 3 different types of events. A counter is used in the listener class to help to identify the order of events.

If you run this program, you will see two radio buttons: one labeled as "On" and the other labeled as "Off":
JRadioButton Listeners

If you press the "On" button and hold it, you will see 2 messages showing in command window. If you release the "On" button, you will see 5 more messages. If you continue to press the "Off" button and hold it, you will see 2 more messages. If you release the "Off" button, you will see 7 more messages. Here is the list of all the messages:

1: State changed on - On
2: State changed on - On     - "On" pressed
3: State changed on - On
4: Item state changed - On
5: State changed on - On
6: Action performed - On
7: State changed on - On     - "On" released
8: State changed on - Off
9: State changed on - Off    - "Off" pressed
10: State changed on - On
11: Item state changed - On
12: State changed on - Off
13: Item state changed - Off
14: State changed on - Off
15: Action performed - Off
16: State changed on - Off   - "Off" released

Note that:

Sample programs listed in this section have been tested with JDK 1.3.1 to 1.8.0.

Last update: 2014.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 Introduction of Java Swing Package

 Graphics Environment of the Local System

 JFrame - Main Frame Class

 JLabel - Swing Label Class

 JButton - Swing Button Class

JRadioButton - Swing Radio Button Class

 javax.swing.JRadioButton and Related Classes

ActionListener, ChangeListener and ItemListener

 getSelection() - Getting Selected Button

 JTextField - Swing Text Field Class

 Menu Bar, Menus, Menu Items and Listeners

 Creating Internal Frames inside the Main Frame

 Layout of Components in a Container

 LookAndFeel and UIManager

 Option Dialog Boxes

 JEditorPane - The Editor Pane Class

 SwingWorker - The Background Task Worker


 PDF Printing Version