Home and Learn: Games Programming Course

Add a Button to a Java Form

You add a button to a form in the same way you do for text fields - drag and drop. However, as we're going to be adding lots of buttons, it's a good idea to add the buttons to a control called a Panel. If you need to move the buttons, you can then just move the Panel instead. All the buttons will then move with the Panel.

So locate the Panel control in the Palette:

The Palette control in the NetBeans IDE

Drag one on to your form. You can't see a Panel, as they'll have the same colour as the form. But you can select it:

A Panel control has been added to the Java form

Drag the sizing handles so that the Panel fills most of the form:

The Panel has been resized

We can now add a button.

Locate the Button control in the Palette:

The Button control

Drag one on to your Panel control:

A button being dragged on to a Java form

You should then see a button with sizing handles and position lines:

A button dropped on to the form

The default name of the button is jButton1. Change this name just like you did for the text field: right click in the Navigator area, and select Change variable name. Change the name of the button to btnOne:

Rename your button

The name of the button will have changed in the Navigator:

The button control in the Navigator area of NetBeans

A new line of code has also been added:

Java Instance variables have been set up  for the button and panel

The new variable name is btnOne, and it is a JButton object, which is a Swing control. Note, too, that a variable has been set up for the panel (we've left this on the default name).

In the next part, you'll learn how to change the properties of Java buttons.

<-- Text Boxes | Changing the Properties of a Button -->

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