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AWT Basics

Java AWT (Abstract Windowing Toolkit) is an API to develop GUI or window-based application in java.

Java AWT components are platform-dependent i.e. components are displayed according to the view of operating system. AWT is heavyweight i.e. its components uses the resources of system.

The java.awt package provides classes for AWT api such as TextField, Label, TextArea, RadioButton, CheckBox, Choice, List etc.

Java AWT Hierarchy

The hierarchy of Java AWT classes are given below.



The Container is a component in AWT that can contain another components like buttons, textfields, labels etc. The classes that extends Container class are known as container such as Frame, Dialog and Panel.


The window is the container that have no borders and menu bars. You must use frame, dialog or another window for creating a window.


The Panel is the container that doesn’t contain title bar and menu bars. It can have other components like button, textfield etc.


The Frame is the container that contain title bar and can have menu bars. It can have other components like button, textfield etc.

Useful Methods of Component class

Method Description
public void add(Component c) inserts a component on this component.
public void setSize(int width,int height) sets the size (width and height) of the component.
public void setLayout(LayoutManager m) defines the layout manager for the component.
public void setVisible(boolean status) changes the visibility of the component, by default false.

Java AWT Example

To create simple awt example, you need a frame. There are two ways to create a frame in AWT.

  • By extending Frame class (inheritance)
  • By creating the object of Frame class (association)

Simple example of AWT by inheritance

  1. import java.awt.*;
  2. class First extends Frame{
  3. First(){
  4. Button b=new Button(“click me”);
  5. b.setBounds(30,100,80,30);// setting button position
  6. add(b);//adding button into frame
  7. setSize(300,300);//frame size 300 width and 300 height
  8. setLayout(null);//no layout manager
  9. setVisible(true);//now frame will be visible, by default not visible
  10. }
  11. public static void main(String args[]){
  12. First f=new First();
  13. }}

The setBounds(int xaxis, int yaxis, int width, int height) method is used in the above example that sets the position of the awt button.


Simple example of AWT by association

  1. import java.awt.*;
  2. class First2{
  3. First2(){
  4. Frame f=new Frame();
  5. Button b=new Button(“click me”);
  6. b.setBounds(30,50,80,30);
  7. f.add(b);
  8. f.setSize(300,300);
  9. f.setLayout(null);
  10. f.setVisible(true);
  11. }
  12. public static void main(String args[]){
  13. First2 f=new First2();
  14. }}