Java swing look and feel mac

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  1. Set the Look and Feel in Java
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  4. Java Development Guide for Mac OS X: Mac OS X Integration for Java

As you can see by comparing Figure and Figure , the Aqua version of these buttons requires almost 50 percent more horizontal screen space than does the Metal version. This can reduce a nicely laid out Metal interface to a jumble of clipped text and ugly ellipses when converted to Aqua. In Aqua, buttons by default have a gap of 12 pixels between them and are based on a point font. This font can be a bit large when compared with other platform defaults.


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Rather than settling for a nasty-looking Metal interface based on these patterns, you may wish to standardize the "utility" UI patterns in Aqua for your Java applications. These smaller controls are closer to the control sizes of other platforms, and look good on Metal as well as Aqua. To support this smaller utility user interface, use controls based on an point font and use a default control spacing of 8 pixels. Another interesting contrast between Aqua and Metal can be found when comparing JList implementations the seventh button from the left in the SwingSet2 mini-dock.

If you compare the user interface components in Figure with those in Figure , you can see that while elements in the Aqua implementation are generally wider than those in Metal, they are often vertically shorter. So although Aqua interface widgets generally require more space than their Metal counterparts, this is not always the case. The moral here is to be extremely careful when designing user interfaces for multiple look and feel motifs. The next section shows how you can minimize these problems. Unfortunately, many developers test their applications with the Metal look and feel, ignoring other platforms and look and feel packages.

While that may be acceptable for Windows or Motif users, the Aqua look and feel implementation is excellent, and there is no reason not to test for and support it. As pointed out so glaringly in the last section, the biggest issue you need to deal with is sizing elements.

When you first run your application under Aqua, you may be taken aback by the number of places where element size will affect you? All things are not created equal on Aqua and Metal. If you are bringing an application over from another platform, this may be a good time to examine the interface. Often, an application that looks too busy on Aqua is actually too busy on all platforms; Aqua is just driving the point home, especially when compared to the quality of the user interface work put into other Mac OS X applications.

The bad news is that no mantra or special set of steps can convert a Metal-size application to an Aqua-size one. That means that you'll have to dig into your code by hand and space things out until they look good on Aqua.

Set the Look and Feel in Java

Be sure to use the "utility" UI patterns, which dictate point fonts and 8-pixel spacings. The good news, though, is that you'll end up with a better-designed application, and reap the benefits of both look and feel motifs. The default Aqua implementation of a JFrame is set to the textured background common to many Aqua applications.

However, most developers prefer to use a plain white background, like one you'd see in a Finder folder or the various mail applications. To set the background to white or some other color , you will need to use the following in your Swing code:. This explicit color setting ensures that defaults on different platforms don't change your application's background color without your knowing about it.

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Another difference between Mac OS X and other platforms is that Mac OS X applications consistently use a small dot to indicate when a window is "dirty," meaning that information has been changed and a save is in order. Figure shows a "dirty" window icon, and Figure shows the same icon once a save has been completed. The last major issue to think about is the location of actions on a menu bar. The standard Mac OS X menu bar is typically organized by the scope of the action. For example, consider the menu hierarchy detailed in Table , which indicates a menu bar's headings and the scope that each heading's actions should govern.

Table Menu headings and their scope Menu heading. If you use these scopes as a standard set of rules for your own menu locations and choices, you'll find that users intuitively know where to look for items and will feel at home with your application quickly. Toggle navigation. See also. Figure The SwingSet sample application Playing around a bit with this application, you'll see that it is built on an instance of JDesktopPane.

Metal buttons Figure Aqua buttons In Aqua, buttons by default have a gap of 12 pixels between them and are based on a point font. Metal JList component Figure Aqua JList component The moral here is to be extremely careful when designing user interfaces for multiple look and feel motifs. To set the background to white or some other color , you will need to use the following in your Swing code: myJFrame. A "dirty" window Figure A window after saving To set this "dirty" dot, use the following code: myJFrame.

FALSE ; 4.

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Menu headings and their scope Menu heading Scope Examples Apple menu Entire system including global actions Restart, Sleep Application Entire application Quit, Preferences, Hide, About File Entire document New, Save, Print Edit Section of document Find, Replace Format Changes appearance but not data Font, Alignment Window Switches between documents Tile, Cascade, Go To Help No effect on application, but easy to find Help, Documentation If you use these scopes as a standard set of rules for your own menu locations and choices, you'll find that users intuitively know where to look for items and will feel at home with your application quickly.

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Selecting L&F Programmatically

Comments and Questions. Chapter 1. Getting Oriented. Active 4 years ago. Viewed 5k times. I'm using the JDK 8.

Mike Mike 28 1 1 silver badge 3 3 bronze badges. It will be something like this: java -Dswing. I followed the instructions in that second link and used a try Looks a lot nicer now thanks. Setting the look and feel to metal if Gtk cannot be found seemed logical, but it cannot be done without using another try Just catch all Exceptions this is one of the few times you really want to catch them all [or list and catch all the possible exceptions the static call can raise, if you want] and default to Metal, which is guaranteed to always be present. That is, the nested try Cool, thanks.

I suppose if you want to be more elegant, you can iterate through UIManager. Or use the static helpers instead of the actual classnames: UIManager. As jdv answered you can set it at the runtime or you can set it for all the Java swing applications using the following technique: Step 1: In Java 8 this file is not available by default.

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Java Development Guide for Mac OS X: Mac OS X Integration for Java

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Complete Java GUI/Swing Tutorial. Beginner to Expert

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