Recipe 13.1 Painting with a Graphics Object


You want to draw something on the screen.


In your paint( ) method, use the provided Graphics object's drawing methods:

// graphics/  import java.awt.*;    public class PaintDemo extends Component {      int rectX = 20, rectY = 30;      int rectWidth = 50, rectHeight = 50;      public void paint(Graphics g) {          g.setColor(;          g.fillRect(rectX, rectY, rectWidth, rectHeight);      }      public Dimension getPreferredSize( ) {          return new Dimension(100, 100);      }  }


The Graphics class has a large set of drawing primitives. Each shape Rect (angle), Arc, Ellipse, and Polygon has a draw method (draws just the outline) and a fill method (fills inside the outline). You don't need both, unless you want the outline and the interior (fill) of a shape to be different colors. The method drawString( ) and its relatives let you print text on the screen (see Recipe 13.3). There are also drawLine( ) which draws straight line segments setColor /getColor, setFont/getFont, and many other methods. Too many to list here, in fact; see Sun's online documentation for java.awt.Graphics.

When to draw?

A common beginner's mistake used to be to call getGraphics( ) and call the Graphics object's drawing methods from within a main program or the constructor of a Component subclass. Fortunately we now have any number of books to tell us that the correct way to draw anything is with your component's paint method. Why? Because you can't draw in a window until it's actually been created and (on most window systems) mapped to the screen, which takes much more time than your main program or constructor has. The drawing code needs to wait patiently until the window system notifies the Java runtime that it's time to paint the window.

Where do you put your drawing code? This is one situation where you need to think about AWT versus Swing. AWT, the basic windowing system (and the only one in JDK 1.1) uses a method called paint( ) . This method is still available in Swing, but due to interaction with borders and the like, it is recommended that you override paintComponent( ) instead. Both are called with a single argument of type Graphics. Your paintComponent( ) should start by calling super.paintComponent( ) with the same argument to ensure that components are painted in proper back-to-front order, while paint( ) should not call its parent. Some examples in this chapter use paint( ) and others use paintComponent( ); the latter also usually extend JPanel . This allows better interaction with Swing, and also allows you to place these as the main component in a JFrame by calling setContentPane( ) , which eliminates an extra layer of container. (JFrame's ContentPane is discussed in Recipe 14.1.)

Java Cookbook
Java Cookbook, Second Edition
ISBN: 0596007019
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 409
Authors: Ian F Darwin

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