LookAndFeel and UIManager

This chapter provides tutorial notes and example codes on UI look and feel. Topics include introduction of javax.swing.LookAndFeel and javax.swing.UIManager classes; example programs on how to manage UI look and feel.

javax.swing.LookAndFeel - A Swing class representing a set of rules that define how each type of graphical components should look and feel.

javax.swing.UIManager - A Swing class managing the current LookAndFeel.

To find out which LookAndFeel is available on your local system, and to switch from one LookAndFeel to another, I wrote the following sample program:

/* LookAndFeelTest2.java
 * Copyright (c) 2014, HerongYang.com, All Rights Reserved.
 */
import java.awt.*;
import javax.swing.*;
public class LookAndFeelTest2 {
   public static void main(String[] a) {
      try {
         showFrame("Default LookAndFeel", 1);
         String cn = UIManager.getSystemLookAndFeelClassName();
         UIManager.setLookAndFeel(cn);
         showFrame("System LookAndFeel", 2);
         cn = UIManager.getCrossPlatformLookAndFeelClassName();
         UIManager.setLookAndFeel(cn);
         showFrame("Cross Platform LookAndFeel", 3);
         cn = "com.sun.java.swing.plaf.motif.MotifLookAndFeel";
         UIManager.setLookAndFeel(cn);
         showFrame("Motif LookAndFeel", 4);
      } catch (Exception e) {
         System.out.println("Exception: "+e);
      }
   }
   private static void showFrame(String t, int i) {
      LookAndFeel laf = UIManager.getLookAndFeel();
      JFrame myFrame = new JFrame(i+". "+t+": "+laf.getName());
      myFrame.setBounds(50*i,50*i,0,0);
      myFrame.setDefaultCloseOperation(JFrame.EXIT_ON_CLOSE);
      Container myPane = myFrame.getContentPane();
      myPane.setLayout(new GridBagLayout());
      GridBagConstraints c = new GridBagConstraints();
      setMyConstraints(c,0,0,GridBagConstraints.CENTER);
      myPane.add(getFieldPanel(),c);
      setMyConstraints(c,0,1,GridBagConstraints.CENTER);
      myPane.add(getButtonPanel(),c);
      myFrame.pack();
      myFrame.setVisible(true);
   }
   private static JPanel getFieldPanel() {
      JPanel p = new JPanel(new GridBagLayout());
      p.setBorder(BorderFactory.createTitledBorder("Details"));
      GridBagConstraints c = new GridBagConstraints();
      setMyConstraints(c,0,0,GridBagConstraints.EAST);
      p.add(new JLabel("Name:"),c);
      setMyConstraints(c,1,0,GridBagConstraints.WEST);
      p.add(new JTextField(16),c);
      setMyConstraints(c,0,1,GridBagConstraints.EAST);
      p.add(new JLabel("System:"),c);
      setMyConstraints(c,1,1,GridBagConstraints.WEST);
      p.add(getSystemPanel(),c);
      setMyConstraints(c,0,2,GridBagConstraints.EAST);
      p.add(new JLabel("Language:"),c);
      setMyConstraints(c,1,2,GridBagConstraints.WEST);
      p.add(getLanguagePanel(),c);
      setMyConstraints(c,0,3,GridBagConstraints.EAST);
      p.add(new JLabel("Year:"),c);
      setMyConstraints(c,1,3,GridBagConstraints.WEST);
      p.add(new JComboBox<String>(
         new String[] {"2021","2022","2023"}),c);
      return p;
   }
   private static JPanel getButtonPanel() {
      JPanel p = new JPanel(new GridBagLayout());
      p.add(new JButton("OK"));
      p.add(new JButton("Cancel"));
      return p;
   }
   private static JPanel getSystemPanel() {
      JRadioButton unixButton = new JRadioButton("Unix",true);
      JRadioButton winButton = new JRadioButton("Window",false);
      ButtonGroup systemGroup = new ButtonGroup();
      systemGroup.add(unixButton);
      systemGroup.add(winButton);
      JPanel p = new JPanel(new GridBagLayout());
      p.add(unixButton);
      p.add(winButton);
      return p;
   }
   private static JPanel getLanguagePanel() {
      JPanel p = new JPanel(new GridBagLayout());
      p.add(new JCheckBox("Java",true));
      p.add(new JCheckBox("C++",true));
      p.add(new JCheckBox("Perl",false));
      return p;
   }
   private static void setMyConstraints(GridBagConstraints c, 
      int gridx, int gridy, int anchor) {
      c.gridx = gridx;
      c.gridy = gridy;
      c.anchor = anchor;
   }
}

Run it. You should get 4 windows, representing the JDK default LookAndFeel, the local system default LookAndFeel, cross platform LookAndFeel, and the Motif LookAndFeel.
LookAndFeel and UIManager

As you can see, the JDK default LookAndFeel is called Metal, which is also the cross platform LookAndFeel.

Sample programs listed in this chapter have been tested with JDK 1.6.0 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

 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

 References

 PDF Printing Version