Module java.desktop
Package javax.swing

Class BoxLayout

java.lang.Object
javax.swing.BoxLayout
All Implemented Interfaces:
LayoutManager, LayoutManager2, Serializable
Direct Known Subclasses:
DefaultMenuLayout

public class BoxLayout
extends Object
implements LayoutManager2, Serializable
A layout manager that allows multiple components to be laid out either vertically or horizontally. The components will not wrap so, for example, a vertical arrangement of components will stay vertically arranged when the frame is resized.

Example:

The following text describes this graphic.

Nesting multiple panels with different combinations of horizontal and vertical gives an effect similar to GridBagLayout, without the complexity. The diagram shows two panels arranged horizontally, each of which contains 3 components arranged vertically.

The BoxLayout manager is constructed with an axis parameter that specifies the type of layout that will be done. There are four choices:

X_AXIS - Components are laid out horizontally from left to right.
Y_AXIS - Components are laid out vertically from top to bottom.
LINE_AXIS - Components are laid out the way words are laid out in a line, based on the container's ComponentOrientation property. If the container's ComponentOrientation is horizontal then components are laid out horizontally, otherwise they are laid out vertically. For horizontal orientations, if the container's ComponentOrientation is left to right then components are laid out left to right, otherwise they are laid out right to left. For vertical orientations components are always laid out from top to bottom.
PAGE_AXIS - Components are laid out the way text lines are laid out on a page, based on the container's ComponentOrientation property. If the container's ComponentOrientation is horizontal then components are laid out vertically, otherwise they are laid out horizontally. For horizontal orientations, if the container's ComponentOrientation is left to right then components are laid out left to right, otherwise they are laid out right to left.  For vertical orientations components are always laid out from top to bottom.

For all directions, components are arranged in the same order as they were added to the container.

BoxLayout attempts to arrange components at their preferred widths (for horizontal layout) or heights (for vertical layout). For a horizontal layout, if not all the components are the same height, BoxLayout attempts to make all the components as high as the highest component. If that's not possible for a particular component, then BoxLayout aligns that component vertically, according to the component's Y alignment. By default, a component has a Y alignment of 0.5, which means that the vertical center of the component should have the same Y coordinate as the vertical centers of other components with 0.5 Y alignment.

Similarly, for a vertical layout, BoxLayout attempts to make all components in the column as wide as the widest component. If that fails, it aligns them horizontally according to their X alignments. For PAGE_AXIS layout, horizontal alignment is done based on the leading edge of the component. In other words, an X alignment value of 0.0 means the left edge of a component if the container's ComponentOrientation is left to right and it means the right edge of the component otherwise.

Instead of using BoxLayout directly, many programs use the Box class. The Box class is a lightweight container that uses a BoxLayout. It also provides handy methods to help you use BoxLayout well. Adding components to multiple nested boxes is a powerful way to get the arrangement you want.

For further information and examples see How to Use BoxLayout, a section in The Java Tutorial.

Warning: Serialized objects of this class will not be compatible with future Swing releases. The current serialization support is appropriate for short term storage or RMI between applications running the same version of Swing. As of 1.4, support for long term storage of all JavaBeans™ has been added to the java.beans package. Please see XMLEncoder.

Since:
1.2
See Also:
Box, ComponentOrientation, JComponent.getAlignmentX(), JComponent.getAlignmentY()
  • Field Summary

    Fields
    Modifier and Type Field Description
    static int LINE_AXIS
    Specifies that components should be laid out in the direction of a line of text as determined by the target container's ComponentOrientation property.
    static int PAGE_AXIS
    Specifies that components should be laid out in the direction that lines flow across a page as determined by the target container's ComponentOrientation property.
    static int X_AXIS
    Specifies that components should be laid out left to right.
    static int Y_AXIS
    Specifies that components should be laid out top to bottom.
  • Constructor Summary

    Constructors
    Constructor Description
    BoxLayout​(Container target, int axis)
    Creates a layout manager that will lay out components along the given axis.
  • Method Summary

    Modifier and Type Method Description
    void addLayoutComponent​(Component comp, Object constraints)
    Not used by this class.
    void addLayoutComponent​(String name, Component comp)
    Not used by this class.
    int getAxis()
    Returns the axis that was used to lay out components.
    float getLayoutAlignmentX​(Container target)
    Returns the alignment along the X axis for the container.
    float getLayoutAlignmentY​(Container target)
    Returns the alignment along the Y axis for the container.
    Container getTarget()
    Returns the container that uses this layout manager.
    void invalidateLayout​(Container target)
    Indicates that a child has changed its layout related information, and thus any cached calculations should be flushed.
    void layoutContainer​(Container target)
    Called by the AWT when the specified container needs to be laid out.
    Dimension maximumLayoutSize​(Container target)
    Returns the maximum dimensions the target container can use to lay out the components it contains.
    Dimension minimumLayoutSize​(Container target)
    Returns the minimum dimensions needed to lay out the components contained in the specified target container.
    Dimension preferredLayoutSize​(Container target)
    Returns the preferred dimensions for this layout, given the components in the specified target container.
    void removeLayoutComponent​(Component comp)
    Not used by this class.

    Methods declared in class java.lang.Object

    clone, equals, finalize, getClass, hashCode, notify, notifyAll, toString, wait, wait, wait
  • Field Details

    • X_AXIS

      public static final int X_AXIS
      Specifies that components should be laid out left to right.
      See Also:
      Constant Field Values
    • Y_AXIS

      public static final int Y_AXIS
      Specifies that components should be laid out top to bottom.
      See Also:
      Constant Field Values
    • LINE_AXIS

      public static final int LINE_AXIS
      Specifies that components should be laid out in the direction of a line of text as determined by the target container's ComponentOrientation property.
      See Also:
      Constant Field Values
    • PAGE_AXIS

      public static final int PAGE_AXIS
      Specifies that components should be laid out in the direction that lines flow across a page as determined by the target container's ComponentOrientation property.
      See Also:
      Constant Field Values
  • Constructor Details

    • BoxLayout

      @ConstructorProperties({"target","axis"}) public BoxLayout​(Container target, int axis)
      Creates a layout manager that will lay out components along the given axis.
      Parameters:
      target - the container that needs to be laid out
      axis - the axis to lay out components along. Can be one of: BoxLayout.X_AXIS, BoxLayout.Y_AXIS, BoxLayout.LINE_AXIS or BoxLayout.PAGE_AXIS
      Throws:
      AWTError - if the value of axis is invalid
  • Method Details

    • getTarget

      public final Container getTarget()
      Returns the container that uses this layout manager.
      Returns:
      the container that uses this layout manager
      Since:
      1.6
    • getAxis

      public final int getAxis()
      Returns the axis that was used to lay out components. Returns one of: BoxLayout.X_AXIS, BoxLayout.Y_AXIS, BoxLayout.LINE_AXIS or BoxLayout.PAGE_AXIS
      Returns:
      the axis that was used to lay out components
      Since:
      1.6
    • invalidateLayout

      public void invalidateLayout​(Container target)
      Indicates that a child has changed its layout related information, and thus any cached calculations should be flushed.

      This method is called by AWT when the invalidate method is called on the Container. Since the invalidate method may be called asynchronously to the event thread, this method may be called asynchronously.

      Specified by:
      invalidateLayout in interface LayoutManager2
      Parameters:
      target - the affected container
      Throws:
      AWTError - if the target isn't the container specified to the BoxLayout constructor
    • addLayoutComponent

      public void addLayoutComponent​(String name, Component comp)
      Not used by this class.
      Specified by:
      addLayoutComponent in interface LayoutManager
      Parameters:
      name - the name of the component
      comp - the component
    • removeLayoutComponent

      public void removeLayoutComponent​(Component comp)
      Not used by this class.
      Specified by:
      removeLayoutComponent in interface LayoutManager
      Parameters:
      comp - the component
    • addLayoutComponent

      public void addLayoutComponent​(Component comp, Object constraints)
      Not used by this class.
      Specified by:
      addLayoutComponent in interface LayoutManager2
      Parameters:
      comp - the component
      constraints - constraints
    • preferredLayoutSize

      public Dimension preferredLayoutSize​(Container target)
      Returns the preferred dimensions for this layout, given the components in the specified target container.
      Specified by:
      preferredLayoutSize in interface LayoutManager
      Parameters:
      target - the container that needs to be laid out
      Returns:
      the dimensions >= 0 && <= Integer.MAX_VALUE
      Throws:
      AWTError - if the target isn't the container specified to the BoxLayout constructor
      See Also:
      Container, minimumLayoutSize(java.awt.Container), maximumLayoutSize(java.awt.Container)
    • minimumLayoutSize

      public Dimension minimumLayoutSize​(Container target)
      Returns the minimum dimensions needed to lay out the components contained in the specified target container.
      Specified by:
      minimumLayoutSize in interface LayoutManager
      Parameters:
      target - the container that needs to be laid out
      Returns:
      the dimensions >= 0 && <= Integer.MAX_VALUE
      Throws:
      AWTError - if the target isn't the container specified to the BoxLayout constructor
      See Also:
      preferredLayoutSize(java.awt.Container), maximumLayoutSize(java.awt.Container)
    • maximumLayoutSize

      public Dimension maximumLayoutSize​(Container target)
      Returns the maximum dimensions the target container can use to lay out the components it contains.
      Specified by:
      maximumLayoutSize in interface LayoutManager2
      Parameters:
      target - the container that needs to be laid out
      Returns:
      the dimensions >= 0 && <= Integer.MAX_VALUE
      Throws:
      AWTError - if the target isn't the container specified to the BoxLayout constructor
      See Also:
      preferredLayoutSize(java.awt.Container), minimumLayoutSize(java.awt.Container)
    • getLayoutAlignmentX

      public float getLayoutAlignmentX​(Container target)
      Returns the alignment along the X axis for the container. If the box is horizontal, the default alignment will be returned. Otherwise, the alignment needed to place the children along the X axis will be returned.
      Specified by:
      getLayoutAlignmentX in interface LayoutManager2
      Parameters:
      target - the container
      Returns:
      the alignment >= 0.0f && <= 1.0f
      Throws:
      AWTError - if the target isn't the container specified to the BoxLayout constructor
    • getLayoutAlignmentY

      public float getLayoutAlignmentY​(Container target)
      Returns the alignment along the Y axis for the container. If the box is vertical, the default alignment will be returned. Otherwise, the alignment needed to place the children along the Y axis will be returned.
      Specified by:
      getLayoutAlignmentY in interface LayoutManager2
      Parameters:
      target - the container
      Returns:
      the alignment >= 0.0f && <= 1.0f
      Throws:
      AWTError - if the target isn't the container specified to the BoxLayout constructor
    • layoutContainer

      public void layoutContainer​(Container target)
      Called by the AWT when the specified container needs to be laid out.
      Specified by:
      layoutContainer in interface LayoutManager
      Parameters:
      target - the container to lay out
      Throws:
      AWTError - if the target isn't the container specified to the BoxLayout constructor