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Graphical User Interface (GUI) programming is an essential part of modern software development. It allows developers to create interactive applications that users can interact with using a mouse, keyboard, or touch screen. Java, being one of the most popular programming languages, has a powerful and easy-to-use GUI toolkit called Swing. In this article, we will introduce Swing and show you how to create a simple GUI application in Java.

What is Swing?

Swing is a GUI toolkit that is part of the Java Foundation Classes (JFC). It was introduced in Java 1.2 and has been an essential part of Java GUI programming ever since. Swing provides a set of components that can be used to create GUI applications, including buttons, labels, text boxes, and many others. These components are highly customizable, and developers can use them to create complex GUI layouts easily.

Swing vs. AWT

Before we dive into Swing, it’s important to understand the difference between Swing and AWT. AWT (Abstract Window Toolkit) was the first GUI toolkit in Java and is still available in modern versions of Java. However, AWT components have limited customization options, and they do not have the same level of flexibility as Swing components. Swing, on the other hand, provides highly customizable components that are not limited to the look and feel of the operating system. Therefore, Swing is the preferred choice for modern Java GUI programming.

Creating a Simple Swing Application

Let’s create a simple Swing application that displays a window with a label and a button. Follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Open your favorite Java IDE and create a new Java project.
  • Step 2: Create a new Java class and name it “MyFrame”. Make sure it extends the JFrame class.
  • Step 3: In the constructor of the MyFrame class, set the title of the window to “My First Swing Application”. Then set the size of the window to 400×400 pixels using the setSize() method.
  • Step 4: Create a new JLabel instance and set its text to “Hello, World!”.
  • Step 5: Create a new JButton instance and set its text to “Click me!”.
  • Step 6: Add the JLabel and JButton components to the JFrame using the add() method.
  • Step 7: Set the layout manager of the JFrame to BorderLayout using the setLayout() method.
  • Step 8: Set the default close operation of the JFrame to EXIT_ON_CLOSE using the setDefaultCloseOperation() method.
  • Step 9: Compile and run your application.

Congratulations! You have created your first Swing application.


In this article, we introduced Swing, the GUI toolkit for Java, and showed you how to create a simple Swing application. Swing provides a powerful and flexible set of components that can be used to create complex GUI layouts easily. It is the preferred choice for modern Java GUI programming. Now that you have a basic understanding of Swing, you can explore more advanced features and create even more complex applications

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