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Abstract Window Toolkit

See AWT.


The degree to which software can be used comfortably by a wide variety of people, including those who require assistive technologies or those who use the keyboard instead of a pointing device. An accessible JFC application employs the Java Accessibility API and provides keyboard operations for all actions that can be carried out by use of the mouse. See also assistive technology, Java Accessibility API, Java Accessibility Utilities, keyboard operations.


Starting the operation of a component. See also available, choose, navigation, select.

alert box

A secondary window used by an application to convey a message or warning or to gather a small amount of information from the user. Four standard alert boxes (Info, Warning, Error, and Question) are supplied for JFC applications. Alert boxes are created using the JOptionPane component. See also dialog box.


A change in the appearance of the border of an application graphic such as an icon, so that it looks smoother at screen resolution and in relationship to a specific color.


A program, written in the Java language, that a user can interact with in a web browser. See also application, browser.


A program that combines all the functions necessary for a user to accomplish a particular set of tasks (for instance, word processing or inventory tracking). Unless stated otherwise, this book uses "application" to refer to both applets and standalone applications. See also applet.

assistive technology

Hardware or software that helps people with disabilities use a computer (or provides alternative means of use to all users). Examples include pointing devices other than the mouse, audio or text-only browsers, and screen readers that translate the contents of the screen into Braille, voice output, or audible cues. See also accessibility.


Able to be interacted with. When a component is unavailable, it is dimmed and is unable to receive keyboard focus.


(Abstract Window Toolkit) The class library that provides the standard API for building GUIs for Java programs. The Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) includes imaging tools, data transfer classes, GUI components, containers for GUI components, an event system for handling user and system events among parts of the AWT, and layout managers for managing the size and position of GUI components in platform-independent designs. (The GUI components in the AWT are implemented as native-platform versions of the components, and they have largely been supplanted by the Swing components.) See also JFC, Swing classes.

backing window

A container, a sort of "virtual desktop," for an MDI application. Backing windows are created using the JDesktopPane component. See also internal window, MDI.


A graphic added to existing toolbar buttons that indicates a change in the action of the button--for instance, the display of a menu, the creation of a new object, the addition of an object to a collection, or the review or editing of settings and properties.


A reusable software component written to the JavaBeans specification. See also JavaBeans.

bit depth

The amount of information (in bits) used to represent a pixel. A bit depth of 8 supports up to 256 colors; a bit depth of 24 supports up to 16,777,216 colors.


A URL (uniform resource locator) that has been added to a list of saved links. When users view a particular web site and want to return to it subsequently, they can create a bookmark for it.


An application that enables users to view, navigate through, and interact with HTML documents and applets. Also called a "web browser." See also applet.


A collective term for the various controls whose on-screen appearance typically simulates a push button or a radio button. The user clicks buttons to specify commands or set options. See also checkbox, command button, radio button, toggle button, toolbar button.


A control, consisting of a graphic and associated text, that a user clicks to turn an option on or off. A check mark in the checkbox graphic indicates that the option is turned on. Checkboxes are created using the JCheckBox component. See also radio button.

checkbox menu item

A menu item that appears with a checkbox next to it to represent an on or off setting. A check mark in the checkbox graphic indicates that the menu item is turned on. Checkbox menu items are created using the JCheckBoxMenuItem component. See also checkbox, menu item.


(1) In human interface design, refers narrowly to turning on a value in a component that offers a set of possible values, such as a combo box or a list box.
(2) In technical documentation, refers generally to the action of clicking a menu title or menu item. See also activation, select.


To press and release a mouse button. Clicking selects or activates the object beneath the button.


In the client-server model of communications, a process that requests the resources of a remote server, such as computation and storage space. See also server.

color chooser

A component that enables a user to select a color. Color choosers are created using the JColorChooser component. See also HSB, RGB, utility window.

combo box

A component with a drop-down arrow that the user clicks to display a list of options. Noneditable combo boxes have a list from which the user can choose one item. Editable combo boxes offer a text field as well as a list of options. The user can make a choice by typing a value in the text field or by choosing an item from the list. Combo boxes are created using the JComboBox component.

command button

A button with a rectangular border that contains text, a graphic, or both. A user clicks a command button to specify a command to initiate an action. Command buttons are created using the JButton component. See also button, toggle button, toolbar button.


A subclass of java.awt.component or, by extension, the interface element implemented by that subclass. See also control, object, Swing classes.


A component (such as an applet, window, pane, or internal window) that holds other components.

contextual menu

A menu that is displayed when a user presses mouse button 2 while the pointer is over an object or area associated with that menu. A contextual menu offers only menu items that are applicable to the object or region at the location of the pointer. Contextual menus are created using the JPopupMenu component. See also menu.


An interface element that a user can manipulate to perform an action, choose an option, or set a value. Examples include buttons, sliders, list boxes, and combo boxes. See also component, object.


(Common Object Request Broker Architecture) An architecture for the creation, exchange, and management of distributed program objects in a network. CORBA enables programs on different platforms to communicate in a distributed environment.


Pertaining to heterogeneous computing environments. For example, a cross-platform application is one that has a single code base for multiple operating systems.


See pointer.

default command button

The command button that the application activates if a user presses Enter or Return. Default buttons in Java look and feel applications have a heavier border than other command buttons. See also command button.


The process of installing software into an operational environment.


A professional who specifies the way that users will interact with an application, chooses the interface components, and lays them out in a set of views. The designer might or might not be the same person as the developer who writes the application code.

dialog box

A secondary window displayed by an application to gather information from users. Examples of dialog boxes include windows that set properties of objects, set parameters for commands, and set preferences for use of the application. Dialog boxes can also present information, such as displaying a progress bar. A dialog box can contain panes, lists, buttons, and other components. Dialog boxes are created using the JDialog component. See also alert box, color chooser, internal utility window, secondary window, utility window.


Simulating unavailable colors in a displayed graphic by using a pattern of two or more available colors.


To move the mouse while holding down a mouse button. See also drag and drop.

drag and drop

To drag an interface element to a new location in order to move, copy, or link it. See also drag.

drop-down arrow

The triangular indicator that a user clicks to view more options than are visible on screen--such as the list attached to a combo box or the menu provided by some toolbar buttons. See also badge.

drop-down menu

A menu that is displayed when a user activates a menu title in the menu bar or toolbar. Drop-down menus are created using the JMenu component. See also menu, menu bar.


(Enterprise Archive) A file format used for deploying a J2EE application. An .ear (Enterprise Archive) file consists of one or more J2EE modules and a deployment descriptor. Within the .ear file, components are grouped into separate module types--JSP pages, servlets, and HTML pages are grouped into web archive files ( .war files) while enterprise beans are grouped into EJB modules (EJB .jar files). See also EJB , J2EE application, JSP, WAR.

editable combo box

See combo box.

editor pane

A text component that supports a variety of plug-in editor kits. The JFC includes editor kits that can display plain, styled, HTML, and RTF data. Editor panes are created using the JEditorPane component. See also plug-in editor kit.


(Enterprise JavaBeans) A component architecture for development and deployment of object-oriented, distributed, enterprise-level applications. Applications written using the Enterprise JavaBeans architecture are scalable, transactional, multiuser, and secure. See also JavaBeans.


To save an object or data in a format other than the application's native format. See also import.

flush 3D style

In the Java look and feel, the effect created by rendering on-screen graphics whose surfaces appear to be in the same plane as the surrounding canvas and whose border has a bevel.


See keyboard focus.


(Graphics Interchange Format) An 8-bit graphics format developed by CompuServe and commonly used on the World Wide Web. GIF files are limited to 256 colors, and they compress without loss of information. The GIF format is typically used for graphics in the Java look and feel. See also bit depth, JPEG.


A computer system that is accessed by one or more computers and workstations at remote locations.


For "hue, saturation, brightness." In computer graphics, a color model in which hue refers to a color's light frequency, saturation is the amount or strength of the hue (its purity), and brightness is the amount of black in the color (its lightness or darkness). See also RGB.


(Hypertext Transfer Protocol) An application protocol that governs the exchange of files (including text, images, sound, and video) on the World Wide Web. See also HTTPS.


(Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol) A web protocol that governs encryption and decryption (including user page requests and pages sent back by web servers). Developed by Netscape, HTTPS is nonproprietary. See also HTTP.


An on-screen graphic representing an interface element that a user can select or manipulate--for example, an application, document, or disk.


(Internet Inter-ORB Protocol) A protocol used for communication between CORBA common object request brokers. See also CORBA.


To bring an object or data file (for instance, a document created in another application, a text file, or a graphics file) into an application. See also export.

input focus

See keyboard focus.

insertion point

The place, usually indicated by a blinking bar, where typed text or a dragged or pasted selection will appear. See also pointer.

internal window

A window used in MDI applications that a user cannot drag outside of the backing window. In an MDI application that uses the Java look and feel, internal windows have a window border, title bar, and standard window controls with the Java look and feel. Internal windows correspond to a non-MDI application's primary windows. Internal windows are created using the JInternalFrame component. See also backing window, MDI, primary window.

internal utility window

In an MDI application with the Java look and feel, a modeless window that typically displays a collection of tools, colors, or patterns. Internal utility windows float on top of document (internal) windows. User choices made in an internal utility window affect whichever internal window is active. Internal utility windows are created using the JInternalFrame component. See also internal window, utility window.


The process of preparing software so that it is suitable for the global marketplace, taking into account wide variations in regions, languages, and cultures. Internationalization usually requires the separation of component text from code to ease the process of translation. See also localization, resource bundle.


(Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) The edition of the Java 2 platform that combines a number of technologies (such as enterprise beans, JSP pages, CORBA, and XML) in one architecture with a comprehensive application programming model and compatibility test suite for building enterprise-class server-side applications. See also CORBA, EJB, JSP.

J2EE application

An application that consists of J2EE components (application clients, applets, HTML pages, JSP pages, servlets, and enterprise beans) that run on the J2EE platform. J2EE applications are typically designed for distribution across multiple computing tiers. For deployment, a J2EE application is packaged in an .ear (Enterprise Archive) file. See also EAR, J2EE.

J2EE application client

A first-tier client program that executes in its own Java virtual machine but might access J2EE components in the web or business tier.

J2EE server

The collection of runtime services provided by the J2EE platform. These include HTTP, HTTPS, JTA, RMI-IIOP, Java IDL, JDBC, JMS, JNDI, JavaMail, and JAF. Although J2EE servers usually come packaged with web and EJB containers, they are not required to. For example, an OS vendor could supply the runtime services while a separate vendor supplied the J2EE containers.


(Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition) The standard edition of the essential Java 2 platform, which includes tools, runtime services, and APIs for developers who are writing, deploying, and running applets and applications in the Java programming language. See also Java 2 SDK.


(JavaBeans Activation Framework) A standard extension to the J2SE and J2EE platforms. JAF enables developers to use standard services to determine the type of an arbitrary piece of data, gain access to and discover available operations, and instantiate the appropriate bean to perform those operations. See also JavaBeans.


(Java Archive) A platform-independent file format that bundles classes, images, and other files into one compressed file, speeding download time.

Java 2D API

A programming interface (part of the JFC in the Java 2 SDK) that provides an advanced two-dimensional imaging model for complex shapes, text, and images. Features include enhanced font and color support and a single, comprehensive rendering model. See also JFC.

Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition

See J2EE.

Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition

See J2SE.

Java 2 SDK

The software development kit that developers need to build applications for the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, v. 1.3, and the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition. See also JDK, J2EE, J2SE.

Java Accessibility API

A programming interface (part of the JFC) that enables assistive technologies to interact and communicate with JFC components. A Java application that fully supports the Java Accessibility API is compatible with such technologies as screen readers and screen magnifiers. See also accessibility, assistive technology, Java Accessibility Utilities, JFC.

Java Accessibility Utilities

A set of classes (provided in the Java 2 SDK) for use by the vendors who create assistive technologies or automated tool tests. They enable assistive technologies to locate and query user interface objects inside a Java application. See also accessibility, assistive technology, Java Accessibility API, JFC.


An architecture that defines a portable, platform-independent, reusable component model. Beans are the basic unit in this model. You can deploy beans in a network on any major operating system. See also EJB.

JavaBeans Activation Framework

See JAF.

Java Development Kit

See JDK.

Java Foundation Classes

See JFC.

Java IDL

An interface definition language that provides CORBA interoperability and connectivity capabilities for the J2EE platform. See also CORBA, J2EE.

Java look and feel

The default appearance and behavior for JFC applications, designed for cross-platform use. The Java look and feel works in the same way on any platform that supports the JFC. See also JFC, pluggable look and feel architecture.


An API for sending and receiving email.

JavaServer Pages

See JSP.


(Java Database Connectivity) An industry standard for database-independent connectivity between the Java platform and a wide range of databases. The JDBC interface provides a call-level API for SQL-based database access.


(Java Development Kit) Software that includes the APIs and tools that developers need to build applications for those versions of the Java platform that preceded the Java 2 platform. See also Java 2 SDK.


(Java Foundation Classes) A part of the Java 2 platform that includes the Swing classes, pluggable look and feel designs, and the Java Accessibility API. The JFC also includes the Java 2D API, drag and drop, and other enhancements. See also AWT, pluggable look and feel architecture, Swing classes.

JFC application

An application built with the JFC. See also JFC.


(Java Message Service) An API for enterprise messaging systems.


(Java Naming and Directory Interface) An interface to multiple naming and directory services. As part of the Java Enterprise API set, JNDI enables seamless connectivity to heterogeneous enterprise naming and directory services. Developers can build powerful and portable directory-enabled Java applications using this industry-standard interface.


A graphics format developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group. The JPEG format is frequently used for photographs and other complex images that benefit from a larger color palette than a GIF image can provide. JPEG compression is "lossy"; decompressed images are not identical to uncompressed images. See also GIF.


(JavaServer Pages) An extensible web technology that uses template data, custom elements, scripting languages, and server-side Java objects to return dynamic content to a client. Typically, the template data consists of HTML or XML elements, and, in many cases, the client is a web browser. JSP technology is an extension of servlet technology. It facilitates the addition of dynamic data to an otherwise static web page. See also servlets.


(Java Transaction API) An API that enables applications and J2EE servers to access transactions.

keyboard focus

The active window or component where the user's next keystrokes will take effect. Sometimes called the "input focus." See navigation, select.

keyboard operations

A collective term for keyboard shortcuts, mnemonics, and other forms of navigation and activation that utilize the keyboard instead of the mouse. See also keyboard shortcut, mnemonic.

keyboard shortcut

A keystroke combination (usually a modifier key and a character key, like Control-C) that activates a menu item from the keyboard even if the relevant menu is not currently displayed. See also keyboard operations, mnemonic.


Static text that appears in the interface. For example, a label might identify a group of checkboxes. (The text that accompanies each checkbox within the group, however, is specified in the individual checkbox component and is therefore not considered a label.) Labels are created using the JLabel component.

layout manager

Software that assists the designer in determining the size and position of components within a container. Each container type has a default layout manager. See also AWT.

list box

A set of choices from which a user can choose one or more items. Items in a list can be text, graphics, or both. List boxes can be used as an alternative to radio buttons and checkboxes. The choices that users make last as long as the list is displayed. List boxes are created using the JList component. See also combo box, selectable list.

list components

A collective term for the two components that provide a one-column arrangement of data. See also list box, selectable list.


The process of customizing software for a particular locale. Localization usually involves translation and often requires changes to colors, fonts, keyboard usage, number formats, and date and time formats. See also internationalization, resource bundle.

look and feel

The appearance and behavior of a complete set of GUI components. See also Java look and feel.


(multiple document interface) An interface style that confines all of an application's internal windows inside a backing window. See also backing window, internal window, internal utility window.


A list of choices (menu items) logically grouped and displayed by an application so that a user need not memorize all available commands or options. Menus in the Java look and feel are "sticky"--that is, they remain posted on screen after the user clicks the menu title. Menus are created using the JMenu component. See also contextual menu, drop-down menu, menu bar, menu item, submenu.

menu bar

The horizontal strip at the top of a window that contains the titles of the application's drop-down menus. Menu bars are created using the JMenuBar component. See also drop-down menu.

menu item

A choice in a menu. Menu items (text or graphics) are typically commands or other options that a user can select. Menu items are created using the JMenuItem component. See also checkbox menu item, radio button menu item.

menu separator

See separator.

middle mouse button

The central button on a three-button mouse (typically used in UNIX environments). The Java look and feel does not utilize the middle mouse button. See also mouse button 2.


(Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) An Internet standard for sending and receiving non-ASCII email attachments (including video, audio, and graphics). Web browsers also use MIME types to assign applications that interpret and display files that are not formatted in HTML.

minimized internal window

A reduced representation of an internal window in an MDI application. Minimized internal windows look like horizontally oriented tags that appear at the lower-left corner of the backing window. The user can drag minimized internal windows to rearrange them. See also MDI.


An underlined alphanumeric character, typically in a menu title, menu item, or the text of a button or component. A mnemonic shows the user which key to press (in conjunction with the Alt key) to activate a command or navigate to a component. See also keyboard operations, keyboard shortcut.

modal dialog box

In a JFC application, a dialog box that prevents the user's interaction with other windows in the current application. Modal dialog boxes are created using the JDialog component. See also dialog box, modeless dialog box.

modeless dialog box

In a JFC application, a dialog box whose presence does not prevent the user from interacting with other windows in the current application. Modeless dialog boxes are created using the JDialog component. See also dialog box, modal dialog box.

modifier key

A key (for example, the Control or the Shift key) that does not produce an alphanumeric character but rather modifies the meaning of other keys.

mouse button 1

The primary button on a mouse (the only button, for Macintosh users). By default, mouse button 1 is the leftmost button, though users might switch the button settings so that the rightmost button becomes mouse button 1. See also middle mouse button, mouse button 2.

mouse button 2

On a two-button or three-button mouse, the button that is used to display contextual menus. By default, mouse button 2 is the rightmost button on the mouse, though users might switch the settings so that the leftmost button becomes mouse button 2. On mouse devices with only one button, users get the effect of mouse button 2 by holding down the Control key when pressing mouse button 1. See also contextual menu, middle mouse button, mouse button 1.

mouse-over feedback

A change in the visual appearance of an interface element that occurs when the user moves the pointer over it--for example, the display of a button border when the pointer moves over a toolbar button.


A full-motion video with sound that is formatted for inclusion in an application.

multiple document interface

See MDI.

native code

Code that refers to the methods of a specific operating system or is compiled for a specific processor.


The movement of input focus from one user interface component to another via the mouse or the keyboard. Navigation by itself doesn't result in activation of a component or selection of an object. See also activation, keyboard focus, select.

noneditable combo box

See combo box.


(1) In user interfaces, a logical entity that an application presents in an interface and that users manipulate--for instance, a document, chapter, or paragraph in a word- processing application, or a mail server, mailbox, or mail message in a mail program.
(2) In programming, the principal building block of object-oriented applications. Each object is a programming unit consisting of data (instance variables) and functions (instance classes). A component is a particular type of object. See component.


The empty space between the text and the border of command buttons. (Padding is also used to denote the spaces between the contents of table cells and cell borders.)


A collective term for scroll panes, split panes, and tabbed panes.


A container for organizing the contents of a window, dialog box, or applet. Panels are created using the JPanel component. See also tabbed pane.

password field

A special text field in which the user types a password. The field displays a masking character for each typed character. Password fields are created using the JPasswordField component.

plain window

An unadorned window with no title bar or window controls, typically used for splash screens. Plain windows are created using the JWindow component. See also primary window, window controls.

pluggable look and feel architecture

An architecture that separates the implementation of interface elements from their presentation, enabling an application to dynamically choose how its interface elements interact with users. When a pluggable look and feel is used for an application, the designer can select from several look and feel designs.

plug-in editor kit

An editor that can be used by the editor pane. The JFC supplies plug-in editor kits for plain, styled, RTF, and HTML data.


A small graphic that moves around the screen as the user manipulates the mouse (or another pointing device). Depending on its location and the active application, the pointer can assume various shapes, such as an arrowhead, crosshair, or clock. By moving the pointer and pressing mouse buttons, a user can select objects, set the insertion point, and activate windows. Sometimes called the "cursor." See also insertion point.

primary window

A top-level window of an application, where the principal interaction with the user occurs. The title bar and borders of primary windows always retain the look and feel of the user's native platform. Primary windows are created using the JFrame component. See also dialog box, secondary window.

progress bar

An interface element that indicates one or more operations are in progress and shows the user what proportion of the operations has been completed. Progress bars are created using the JProgressBar component. See also control, slider.

radio button

A button that a user clicks to set an option. Unlike checkboxes, radio buttons are mutually exclusive--choosing one radio button turns off all other radio buttons in the group. Radio buttons are created using the JRadioButton component. See also checkbox.

radio button menu item

A menu item that appears with a radio button next to it. Separators indicate which radio button menu items are in a group. Choosing one radio button menu item turns off all others in that group. Radio button menu items are created using the JRadioButtonMenuItem component.

resource bundle

The place where an application retrieves its locale-specific data (isolated from source code). See internationalization, localization.


For "red, green, blue." In computer graphics, a color model that represents colors as amounts of red, green, and blue. See also HSB.


(Remote Method Invocation) A distributed object model for Java programs in which the methods of remote objects written in the Java programming language can be called from other virtual machines, possibly on different hosts.

scroll arrow

In a scrollbar, one of the arrows that a user can click to move through displayed information in the corresponding direction (up or down in a vertical scrollbar, left or right in a horizontal scrollbar). See also scrollbar.

scroll box

A box that a user can drag in the channel of a scrollbar to cause scrolling in the corresponding direction. The scroll box's position in the scrollbar indicates the user's location in the list, window, or pane. In the Java look and feel, the scroll box's size indicates what proportion of the total information is currently visible on screen. A large scroll box, for example, indicates that the user can peruse the contents with just a few clicks in the scrollbar. See also scrollbar.

scroll pane

A container that provides scrolling with optional vertical and horizontal scrollbars. Scroll panes are created using the JScrollPane component. See also scrollbar.


A component that enables a user to control what portion of a document or list (or similar information) is visible on screen. A scrollbar consists of a vertical or horizontal channel, a scroll box that moves through the channel of the scrollbar, and two scroll arrows. Scrollbars are created using the JScrollBar component. See also scroll arrow, scroll box, scroll pane.

secondary window

A modal or modeless window created from and dependent upon a primary window. Secondary windows set options or supply additional details about actions and objects in the primary window. Secondary windows are dismissed when their associated primary window is dismissed. Secondary windows are created using either the JDialog component (for dialog boxes and utility windows) or the JOptionPane component (for alert boxes). See also alert box, dialog box, primary window.

selectable list

A one-column arrangement of data in which the items that users select from the list are designated for a subsequent action. Command buttons can operate on this selection. When another selection is made, any previous selection in the selectable list is deselected. Selectable lists are created using the JList component. See also list box.


(1) In human interface design, refers narrowly to designating one or more objects, typically for a subsequent action. UI components are activated while user objects are selected.
(2) In technical documentation, refers generally to the action of clicking list items, checkboxes, radio buttons, and so forth. See also activation, choose, navigation.


A line graphic that is used to divide menu items into logical groupings. Separators are created using the JSeparator component.


A network device that manages resources and supplies services to a client. See also client.


Server-side programs that give Java technology-enabled servers additional features. Servlets provide web developers with a simple, consistent mechanism for extending the features of a web server and for gaining access to existing business systems. See also JSP.


A control that enables the user to set a value in a range--for example, the RGB values for a color. Sliders are created using the JSlider component.

splash screen

A plain window that appears briefly in the time between the launch of a program and the appearance of its main application window.

split pane

A container that enables the user to adjust the relative size of two adjacent panes. Split panes are created using the JSplitPane component.


A menu that is displayed when a user chooses an associated menu item in a higher-level menu. (Such menu items are identified by a rightward-facing triangle.) Submenus are created using the JMenu component.

Swing classes

A set of GUI components, featuring a pluggable look and feel, that are included in the JFC. The Swing classes implement the Java Accessibility API and supply code for interface elements such as windows, dialog boxes and choosers, panels and panes, menus, controls, text components, tables, lists, and tree components. See also AWT, JFC, pluggable look and feel architecture.

tabbed pane

A container that enables the user to switch between several components (usually JPanel components) that appear to share the same space on screen. The user can view a particular panel by clicking its tab. Tabbed panes are created using the JTabbedPane component.


A two-dimensional arrangement of data in rows and columns. Tables are created using the JTable component.

text area

A multiline region for displaying (and sometimes editing) text. Text in such areas is restricted to a single font, size, and style. Text areas are created using the JTextArea component. See also editor pane.

text field

An area that displays a single line of text. In a noneditable text field, a user can copy, but not change, the text. In an editable text field, a user can type new text or edit the existing text. Text fields are created using the JTextField component. See also password field.

theme mechanism

A feature that enables a designer to specify alternative colors and fonts across an entire Java look and feel application. See also Java look and feel.

time-based media

Information that is time sensitive, including spoken audio, music, animation, and video.

title bar

The strip at the top of a window that contains its title and window controls. See also window controls.

toggle button

A button that alternates between two states. For example, a user might click one toggle button in a toolbar to turn italics on and off. A single toggle button has checkbox behavior; a programmatically grouped set of toggle buttons can be given the mutually exclusive behavior of radio buttons. Toggle buttons are created using the JToggleButton component. See also checkbox, radio button, toolbar button.

tool tip

A short text string that appears on screen to describe the interface element beneath the pointer.


A collection of frequently used commands or options. Toolbars typically contain buttons, but other components (such as text fields and combo boxes) can be placed in toolbars as well. Toolbars are created using the JToolBar component. See also toolbar button.

toolbar button

A button that appears in a toolbar, typically a command or toggle button. A toolbar button can also display a menu. Toolbar buttons are created using the JButton or JToggleButton component. See also command button, toggle button.

top-level container

The highest-level container for a Java application. The top-level containers are JWindow, JFrame, and JDialog.

tree component

A representation of hierarchical data (for example, directory and file names) as a graphical outline. Clicking expands or collapses elements of the outline. Tree components are created using the JTree component.


A graphic used in the tree component. The user clicks a turner to expand or collapse a container in the hierarchy.


Not applicable in the current system state. When a component is unavailable, it appears dimmed and is skipped by keyboard navigation.

utility window

A modeless window that typically displays a collection of tools, colors, fonts, or patterns. Unlike internal utility windows, utility windows do not float. User choices made in a utility window affect whichever primary window is active. A utility window is not dismissed when a primary window is dismissed. Utility windows are created using the JDialog component. See also internal utility window, secondary window.


(Web Archive) A file format used for files that contain the web content of a J2EE application. See J2EE application, web component.

web browser

See browser.

web component

An executable file (for instance, a servlet or JSP page) that is contained in a WAR (Web Archive) file. See also WAR.


A user interface element that organizes and contains the information that users see in an application. See also dialog box, internal utility window, plain window, primary window, secondary window, utility window.

window controls

Controls that affect the state of a window (for example, the Maximize button in Microsoft Windows title bars).

Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines, second edition.
Copyright 2001. Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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