Java

Creating a Java Form with the NetBeans IDE

You don’t have to output everything to a terminal window in Java. In this section,
you’ll be writing a calculator programme that makes use of forms. The form will
have buttons and a text box. We’ll start off with a very simple calculator that
can only add up, and then extend its capabilities so that it can subtract, divide
and multiply. The calculator will look something like this:

You don’t have to output everything to a terminal window in Java. In this section,
you’ll be writing a calculator programme that makes use of forms. The form will
have buttons and a text box. We’ll start off with a very simple calculator that
can only add up, and then extend its capabilities so that it can subtract, divide
and multiply. The calculator will look something like this:

The Finshed Java Calculator

 

(The above screenshot was taken on a Windows machine. Your calculator will
look different if you have, say, a Linux operating system, or an Apple
Mac.)

Let’s make a start.

NetBeans and Java Forms

Developing a Graphic User Interface (GUI) using Java can be an art-form in
itself, as there’s quite a lot to get used to: Components, Containers, Layout
Managers, and a whole lot more besides. The NetBeans development environment,
however, has greatly simplified the creation of forms, and we’ll use this to
drag and drop controls onto a frame.

Rather than go through reams of GUI theory, we’ll just jump straight into it.

Create a new project for this by clicking File > New Project from
the NetBeans menu at the top. Select Java > Java Application from
the list boxes, and then click the Next button.

On step 2 of the wizard, type MyCalculator as the project name. At the
bottom, uncheck “Create main class”. This is because a main method
will be created for us by NetBeans when we add a form. Step 2 of the wizard
should look like this:

New Project dialog box for a Java Form project

Click the Finish button, and NetBeans will create the project, but not much
else. Have a look at the Projects area on the left in NetBeans and you should
see this (If you can’t see the Projects area, click Window > Projects
from the NetBeans menu at the top):

The Projects area in NetBeans

Normally, there’s a .java file under the Source Packages name. But because
we unchecked the “Create main class” box, there’s no java class file
there.

What we’ll do is to add a Form to the project. When the form is created, it
will be created in its own java class file.

To add a form, right click the project name in the Projects window. A menu
will appear:

right-click to add a new Java form

Select New > JFrame Form from the menu. When you do, you should see
the following wizard appear:

Adding a new Java class

Here, you are being asked for a name for your Class, and a package name. We’ve
already created the project, and called it MyCalculator. The package
name and class will go into the project. So, for your Class Name type JavaCalculator.
In the blank package text box, type jCalculator. So we’re creating a
class called JavaCalculator, which is in the jCalculator package, which is in
the MyCalculator project.

Click the Finish button to complete the process.

In the next part, you’ll see what happens after you click finish, and explore
the various windows of the NetBeans IDE.

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