Java™ Platform
Standard Ed. 6

javax.swing
Class GroupLayout

java.lang.Object
  extended by javax.swing.GroupLayout
All Implemented Interfaces:
LayoutManager, LayoutManager2

public class GroupLayout
extends Object
implements LayoutManager2

GroupLayout is a LayoutManager that hierarchically groups components in order to position them in a Container. GroupLayout is intended for use by builders, but may be hand-coded as well. Grouping is done by instances of the Group class. GroupLayout supports two types of groups. A sequential group positions its child elements sequentially, one after another. A parallel group aligns its child elements in one of four ways.

Each group may contain any number of elements, where an element is a Group, Component, or gap. A gap can be thought of as an invisible component with a minimum, preferred and maximum size. In addition GroupLayout supports a preferred gap, whose value comes from LayoutStyle.

Elements are similar to a spring. Each element has a range as specified by a minimum, preferred and maximum. Gaps have either a developer-specified range, or a range determined by LayoutStyle. The range for Components is determined from the Component's getMinimumSize, getPreferredSize and getMaximumSize methods. In addition, when adding Components you may specify a particular range to use instead of that from the component. The range for a Group is determined by the type of group. A ParallelGroup's range is the maximum of the ranges of its elements. A SequentialGroup's range is the sum of the ranges of its elements.

GroupLayout treats each axis independently. That is, there is a group representing the horizontal axis, and a group representing the vertical axis. The horizontal group is responsible for determining the minimum, preferred and maximum size along the horizontal axis as well as setting the x and width of the components contained in it. The vertical group is responsible for determining the minimum, preferred and maximum size along the vertical axis as well as setting the y and height of the components contained in it. Each Component must exist in both a horizontal and vertical group, otherwise an IllegalStateException is thrown during layout, or when the minimum, preferred or maximum size is requested.

The following diagram shows a sequential group along the horizontal axis. The sequential group contains three components. A parallel group was used along the vertical axis.

To reinforce that each axis is treated independently the diagram shows the range of each group and element along each axis. The range of each component has been projected onto the axes, and the groups are rendered in blue (horizontal) and red (vertical). For readability there is a gap between each of the elements in the sequential group.

The sequential group along the horizontal axis is rendered as a solid blue line. Notice the sequential group is the sum of the children elements it contains.

Along the vertical axis the parallel group is the maximum of the height of each of the components. As all three components have the same height, the parallel group has the same height.

The following diagram shows the same three components, but with the parallel group along the horizontal axis and the sequential group along the vertical axis.

As c1 is the largest of the three components, the parallel group is sized to c1. As c2 and c3 are smaller than c1 they are aligned based on the alignment specified for the component (if specified) or the default alignment of the parallel group. In the diagram c2 and c3 were created with an alignment of LEADING. If the component orientation were right-to-left then c2 and c3 would be positioned on the opposite side.

The following diagram shows a sequential group along both the horizontal and vertical axis.

GroupLayout provides the ability to insert gaps between Components. The size of the gap is determined by an instance of LayoutStyle. This may be turned on using the setAutoCreateGaps method. Similarly, you may use the setAutoCreateContainerGaps method to insert gaps between components that touch the edge of the parent container and the container.

The following builds a panel consisting of two labels in one column, followed by two textfields in the next column:

   JComponent panel = ...;
   GroupLayout layout = new GroupLayout(panel);
   panel.setLayout(layout);
 
   // Turn on automatically adding gaps between components
   layout.setAutoCreateGaps(true);
 
   // Turn on automatically creating gaps between components that touch
   // the edge of the container and the container.
   layout.setAutoCreateContainerGaps(true);
 
   // Create a sequential group for the horizontal axis.
 
   GroupLayout.SequentialGroup hGroup = layout.createSequentialGroup();
 
   // The sequential group in turn contains two parallel groups.
   // One parallel group contains the labels, the other the text fields.
   // Putting the labels in a parallel group along the horizontal axis
   // positions them at the same x location.
   //
   // Variable indentation is used to reinforce the level of grouping.
   hGroup.addGroup(layout.createParallelGroup().
            addComponent(label1).addComponent(label2));
   hGroup.addGroup(layout.createParallelGroup().
            addComponent(tf1).addComponent(tf2));
   layout.setHorizontalGroup(hGroup);
   
   // Create a sequential group for the vertical axis.
   GroupLayout.SequentialGroup vGroup = layout.createSequentialGroup();
 
   // The sequential group contains two parallel groups that align
   // the contents along the baseline. The first parallel group contains
   // the first label and text field, and the second parallel group contains
   // the second label and text field. By using a sequential group
   // the labels and text fields are positioned vertically after one another.
   vGroup.addGroup(layout.createParallelGroup(Alignment.BASELINE).
            addComponent(label1).addComponent(tf1));
   vGroup.addGroup(layout.createParallelGroup(Alignment.BASELINE).
            addComponent(label2).addComponent(tf2));
   layout.setVerticalGroup(vGroup);
 

When run the following is produced.

This layout consists of the following.

There are a couple of things to notice in this code:

Since:
1.6

Nested Class Summary
static class GroupLayout.Alignment
          Enumeration of the possible ways ParallelGroup can align its children.
 class GroupLayout.Group
          Group provides the basis for the two types of operations supported by GroupLayout: laying out components one after another (SequentialGroup) or aligned (ParallelGroup).
 class GroupLayout.ParallelGroup
          A Group that aligns and sizes it's children.
 class GroupLayout.SequentialGroup
          A Group that positions and sizes its elements sequentially, one after another.
 
Field Summary
static int DEFAULT_SIZE
          Indicates the size from the component or gap should be used for a particular range value.
static int PREFERRED_SIZE
          Indicates the preferred size from the component or gap should be used for a particular range value.
 
Constructor Summary
GroupLayout(Container host)
          Creates a GroupLayout for the specified Container.
 
Method Summary
 void addLayoutComponent(Component component, Object constraints)
          Notification that a Component has been added to the parent container.
 void addLayoutComponent(String name, Component component)
          Notification that a Component has been added to the parent container.
 GroupLayout.ParallelGroup createBaselineGroup(boolean resizable, boolean anchorBaselineToTop)
          Creates and returns a ParallelGroup that aligns it's elements along the baseline.
 GroupLayout.ParallelGroup createParallelGroup()
          Creates and returns a ParallelGroup with an alignment of Alignment.LEADING.
 GroupLayout.ParallelGroup createParallelGroup(GroupLayout.Alignment alignment)
          Creates and returns a ParallelGroup with the specified alignment.
 GroupLayout.ParallelGroup createParallelGroup(GroupLayout.Alignment alignment, boolean resizable)
          Creates and returns a ParallelGroup with the specified alignment and resize behavior.
 GroupLayout.SequentialGroup createSequentialGroup()
          Creates and returns a SequentialGroup.
 boolean getAutoCreateContainerGaps()
          Returns true if gaps between the container and components that border the container are automatically created.
 boolean getAutoCreateGaps()
          Returns true if gaps between components are automatically created.
 boolean getHonorsVisibility()
          Returns whether component visiblity is considered when sizing and positioning components.
 float getLayoutAlignmentX(Container parent)
          Returns the alignment along the x axis.
 float getLayoutAlignmentY(Container parent)
          Returns the alignment along the y axis.
 LayoutStyle getLayoutStyle()
          Returns the LayoutStyle used for calculating the preferred gap between components.
 void invalidateLayout(Container parent)
          Invalidates the layout, indicating that if the layout manager has cached information it should be discarded.
 void layoutContainer(Container parent)
          Lays out the specified container.
 void linkSize(Component... components)
          Forces the specified components to have the same size regardless of their preferred, minimum or maximum sizes.
 void linkSize(int axis, Component... components)
          Forces the specified components to have the same size along the specified axis regardless of their preferred, minimum or maximum sizes.
 Dimension maximumLayoutSize(Container parent)
          Returns the maximum size for the specified container.
 Dimension minimumLayoutSize(Container parent)
          Returns the minimum size for the specified container.
 Dimension preferredLayoutSize(Container parent)
          Returns the preferred size for the specified container.
 void removeLayoutComponent(Component component)
          Notification that a Component has been removed from the parent container.
 void replace(Component existingComponent, Component newComponent)
          Replaces an existing component with a new one.
 void setAutoCreateContainerGaps(boolean autoCreateContainerPadding)
          Sets whether a gap between the container and components that touch the border of the container should automatically be created.
 void setAutoCreateGaps(boolean autoCreatePadding)
          Sets whether a gap between components should automatically be created.
 void setHonorsVisibility(boolean honorsVisibility)
          Sets whether component visiblity is considered when sizing and positioning components.
 void setHonorsVisibility(Component component, Boolean honorsVisibility)
          Sets whether the component's visiblity is considered for sizing and positioning.
 void setHorizontalGroup(GroupLayout.Group group)
          Sets the Group that positions and sizes components along the horizontal axis.
 void setLayoutStyle(LayoutStyle layoutStyle)
          Sets the LayoutStyle used to calculate the preferred gaps between components.
 void setVerticalGroup(GroupLayout.Group group)
          Sets the Group that positions and sizes components along the vertical axis.
 String toString()
          Returns a string representation of this GroupLayout.
 
Methods inherited from class java.lang.Object
clone, equals, finalize, getClass, hashCode, notify, notifyAll, wait, wait, wait
 

Field Detail

DEFAULT_SIZE

public static final int DEFAULT_SIZE
Indicates the size from the component or gap should be used for a particular range value.

See Also:
GroupLayout.Group, Constant Field Values

PREFERRED_SIZE

public static final int PREFERRED_SIZE
Indicates the preferred size from the component or gap should be used for a particular range value.

See Also:
GroupLayout.Group, Constant Field Values
Constructor Detail

GroupLayout

public GroupLayout(Container host)
Creates a GroupLayout for the specified Container.

Parameters:
host - the Container the GroupLayout is the LayoutManager for
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if host is null
Method Detail

setHonorsVisibility

public void setHonorsVisibility(boolean honorsVisibility)
Sets whether component visiblity is considered when sizing and positioning components. A value of true indicates that non-visible components should not be treated as part of the layout. A value of false indicates that components should be positioned and sized regardless of visibility.

A value of false is useful when the visibility of components is dynamically adjusted and you don't want surrounding components and the sizing to change.

The specified value is used for components that do not have an explicit visibility specified.

The default is true.

Parameters:
honorsVisibility - whether component visiblity is considered when sizing and positioning components
See Also:
setHonorsVisibility(Component,Boolean)

getHonorsVisibility

public boolean getHonorsVisibility()
Returns whether component visiblity is considered when sizing and positioning components.

Returns:
whether component visiblity is considered when sizing and positioning components

setHonorsVisibility

public void setHonorsVisibility(Component component,
                                Boolean honorsVisibility)
Sets whether the component's visiblity is considered for sizing and positioning. A value of Boolean.TRUE indicates that if component is not visible it should not be treated as part of the layout. A value of false indicates that component is positioned and sized regardless of it's visibility. A value of null indicates the value specified by the single argument method setHonorsVisibility should be used.

If component is not a child of the Container this GroupLayout is managine, it will be added to the Container.

Parameters:
component - the component
honorsVisibility - whether component's visiblity should be considered for sizing and positioning
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if component is null
See Also:
setHonorsVisibility(Component,Boolean)

setAutoCreateGaps

public void setAutoCreateGaps(boolean autoCreatePadding)
Sets whether a gap between components should automatically be created. For example, if this is true and you add two components to a SequentialGroup a gap between the two components is automatically be created. The default is false.

Parameters:
autoCreatePadding - whether a gap between components is automatically created

getAutoCreateGaps

public boolean getAutoCreateGaps()
Returns true if gaps between components are automatically created.

Returns:
true if gaps between components are automatically created

setAutoCreateContainerGaps

public void setAutoCreateContainerGaps(boolean autoCreateContainerPadding)
Sets whether a gap between the container and components that touch the border of the container should automatically be created. The default is false.

Parameters:
autoCreateContainerPadding - whether a gap between the container and components that touch the border of the container should automatically be created

getAutoCreateContainerGaps

public boolean getAutoCreateContainerGaps()
Returns true if gaps between the container and components that border the container are automatically created.

Returns:
true if gaps between the container and components that border the container are automatically created

setHorizontalGroup

public void setHorizontalGroup(GroupLayout.Group group)
Sets the Group that positions and sizes components along the horizontal axis.

Parameters:
group - the Group that positions and sizes components along the horizontal axis
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if group is null

setVerticalGroup

public void setVerticalGroup(GroupLayout.Group group)
Sets the Group that positions and sizes components along the vertical axis.

Parameters:
group - the Group that positions and sizes components along the vertical axis
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if group is null

createSequentialGroup

public GroupLayout.SequentialGroup createSequentialGroup()
Creates and returns a SequentialGroup.

Returns:
a new SequentialGroup

createParallelGroup

public GroupLayout.ParallelGroup createParallelGroup()
Creates and returns a ParallelGroup with an alignment of Alignment.LEADING. This is a cover method for the more general createParallelGroup(Alignment) method.

Returns:
a new ParallelGroup
See Also:
createParallelGroup(Alignment)

createParallelGroup

public GroupLayout.ParallelGroup createParallelGroup(GroupLayout.Alignment alignment)
Creates and returns a ParallelGroup with the specified alignment. This is a cover method for the more general createParallelGroup(Alignment,boolean) method with true supplied for the second argument.

Parameters:
alignment - the alignment for the elements of the group
Returns:
a new ParallelGroup
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if alignment is null
See Also:
createBaselineGroup(boolean, boolean), GroupLayout.ParallelGroup

createParallelGroup

public GroupLayout.ParallelGroup createParallelGroup(GroupLayout.Alignment alignment,
                                                     boolean resizable)
Creates and returns a ParallelGroup with the specified alignment and resize behavior. The alignment argument specifies how children elements are positioned that do not fill the group. For example, if a ParallelGroup with an alignment of TRAILING is given 100 and a child only needs 50, the child is positioned at the position 50 (with a component orientation of left-to-right).

Baseline alignment is only useful when used along the vertical axis. A ParallelGroup created with a baseline alignment along the horizontal axis is treated as LEADING.

Refer to ParallelGroup for details on the behavior of baseline groups.

Parameters:
alignment - the alignment for the elements of the group
resizable - true if the group is resizable; if the group is not resizable the preferred size is used for the minimum and maximum size of the group
Returns:
a new ParallelGroup
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if alignment is null
See Also:
createBaselineGroup(boolean, boolean), GroupLayout.ParallelGroup

createBaselineGroup

public GroupLayout.ParallelGroup createBaselineGroup(boolean resizable,
                                                     boolean anchorBaselineToTop)
Creates and returns a ParallelGroup that aligns it's elements along the baseline.

Parameters:
resizable - whether the group is resizable
anchorBaselineToTop - whether the baseline is anchored to the top or bottom of the group
See Also:
createBaselineGroup(boolean, boolean), GroupLayout.ParallelGroup

linkSize

public void linkSize(Component... components)
Forces the specified components to have the same size regardless of their preferred, minimum or maximum sizes. Components that are linked are given the maximum of the preferred size of each of the linked components. For example, if you link two components with a preferred width of 10 and 20, both components are given a width of 20.

This can be used multiple times to force any number of components to share the same size.

Linked Components are not be resizable.

Parameters:
components - the Components that are to have the same size
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if components is null, or contains null
See Also:
linkSize(int,Component[])

linkSize

public void linkSize(int axis,
                     Component... components)
Forces the specified components to have the same size along the specified axis regardless of their preferred, minimum or maximum sizes. Components that are linked are given the maximum of the preferred size of each of the linked components. For example, if you link two components along the horizontal axis and the preferred width is 10 and 20, both components are given a width of 20.

This can be used multiple times to force any number of components to share the same size.

Linked Components are not be resizable.

Parameters:
components - the Components that are to have the same size
axis - the axis to link the size along; one of SwingConstants.HORIZONTAL or SwingConstans.VERTICAL
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if components is null, or contains null; or axis is not SwingConstants.HORIZONTAL or SwingConstants.VERTICAL

replace

public void replace(Component existingComponent,
                    Component newComponent)
Replaces an existing component with a new one.

Parameters:
existingComponent - the component that should be removed and replaced with newComponent
newComponent - the component to put in existingComponent's place
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if either of the components are null or existingComponent is not being managed by this layout manager

setLayoutStyle

public void setLayoutStyle(LayoutStyle layoutStyle)
Sets the LayoutStyle used to calculate the preferred gaps between components. A value of null indicates the shared instance of LayoutStyle should be used.

Parameters:
layoutStyle - the LayoutStyle to use
See Also:
LayoutStyle

getLayoutStyle

public LayoutStyle getLayoutStyle()
Returns the LayoutStyle used for calculating the preferred gap between components. This returns the value specified to setLayoutStyle, which may be null.

Returns:
the LayoutStyle used for calculating the preferred gap between components

addLayoutComponent

public void addLayoutComponent(String name,
                               Component component)
Notification that a Component has been added to the parent container. You should not invoke this method directly, instead you should use one of the Group methods to add a Component.

Specified by:
addLayoutComponent in interface LayoutManager
Parameters:
name - the string to be associated with the component
component - the Component to be added

removeLayoutComponent

public void removeLayoutComponent(Component component)
Notification that a Component has been removed from the parent container. You should not invoke this method directly, instead invoke remove on the parent Container.

Specified by:
removeLayoutComponent in interface LayoutManager
Parameters:
component - the component to be removed
See Also:
Component.remove(java.awt.MenuComponent)

preferredLayoutSize

public Dimension preferredLayoutSize(Container parent)
Returns the preferred size for the specified container.

Specified by:
preferredLayoutSize in interface LayoutManager
Parameters:
parent - the container to return the preferred size for
Returns:
the preferred size for parent
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if parent is not the same Container this was created with
IllegalStateException - if any of the components added to this layout are not in both a horizontal and vertical group
See Also:
Container.getPreferredSize()

minimumLayoutSize

public Dimension minimumLayoutSize(Container parent)
Returns the minimum size for the specified container.

Specified by:
minimumLayoutSize in interface LayoutManager
Parameters:
parent - the container to return the size for
Returns:
the minimum size for parent
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if parent is not the same Container that this was created with
IllegalStateException - if any of the components added to this layout are not in both a horizontal and vertical group
See Also:
Container.getMinimumSize()

layoutContainer

public void layoutContainer(Container parent)
Lays out the specified container.

Specified by:
layoutContainer in interface LayoutManager
Parameters:
parent - the container to be laid out
Throws:
IllegalStateException - if any of the components added to this layout are not in both a horizontal and vertical group

addLayoutComponent

public void addLayoutComponent(Component component,
                               Object constraints)
Notification that a Component has been added to the parent container. You should not invoke this method directly, instead you should use one of the Group methods to add a Component.

Specified by:
addLayoutComponent in interface LayoutManager2
Parameters:
component - the component added
constraints - description of where to place the component

maximumLayoutSize

public Dimension maximumLayoutSize(Container parent)
Returns the maximum size for the specified container.

Specified by:
maximumLayoutSize in interface LayoutManager2
Parameters:
parent - the container to return the size for
Returns:
the maximum size for parent
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if parent is not the same Container that this was created with
IllegalStateException - if any of the components added to this layout are not in both a horizontal and vertical group
See Also:
Container.getMaximumSize()

getLayoutAlignmentX

public float getLayoutAlignmentX(Container parent)
Returns the alignment along the x axis. This specifies how the component would like to be aligned relative to other components. The value should be a number between 0 and 1 where 0 represents alignment along the origin, 1 is aligned the furthest away from the origin, 0.5 is centered, etc.

Specified by:
getLayoutAlignmentX in interface LayoutManager2
Parameters:
parent - the Container hosting this LayoutManager
Returns:
the alignment; this implementation returns .5
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if parent is not the same Container that this was created with

getLayoutAlignmentY

public float getLayoutAlignmentY(Container parent)
Returns the alignment along the y axis. This specifies how the component would like to be aligned relative to other components. The value should be a number between 0 and 1 where 0 represents alignment along the origin, 1 is aligned the furthest away from the origin, 0.5 is centered, etc.

Specified by:
getLayoutAlignmentY in interface LayoutManager2
Parameters:
parent - the Container hosting this LayoutManager
Returns:
alignment; this implementation returns .5
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if parent is not the same Container that this was created with

invalidateLayout

public void invalidateLayout(Container parent)
Invalidates the layout, indicating that if the layout manager has cached information it should be discarded.

Specified by:
invalidateLayout in interface LayoutManager2
Parameters:
parent - the Container hosting this LayoutManager
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - if parent is not the same Container that this was created with

toString

public String toString()
Returns a string representation of this GroupLayout. This method is intended to be used for debugging purposes, and the content and format of the returned string may vary between implementations.

Overrides:
toString in class Object
Returns:
a string representation of this GroupLayout

Java™ Platform
Standard Ed. 6

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