Java TM Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics > Part II: Special Topics > 7: Wizards > Designing the Bottom Pane   Previous Next Contents/Index/Search


Designing the Bottom Pane

The bottom pane of each wizard page displays a row of navigation buttons for moving between the wizard's pages and for closing the wizard. Different types of pages require different navigation buttons.

Figure 77 shows an example of navigation buttons for a wizard page.

Figure 77   Navigation Buttons in a Wizard


In Figure 77, notice the horizontal separator between the bottom pane and the two upper panes. The separator indicates that the bottom pane's navigation buttons relate to the entire wizard, not just to the contents of the current page.

The bottom pane can contain the following navigation buttons: Back, Next, Last, Cancel, Help, Finish, and Close. No single page contains all these buttons; the correct set of buttons depends on the type of the page.

Table 17 describes each navigation button that can be displayed in the bottom pane.


Button Name Description


Displays the previous page. The Back button is present but unavailable on a wizard's first page and whenever a user cannot return to the previous page.


Displays the next page.


(Optional) Displays the wizard's final confirmation page. Include a Last button if users can skip subsequent pages by accepting the wizard's default values.


Discards all user input and then closes the wizard without further processing. (The keyboard shortcut for the Cancel button is the Escape key.) On a progress page, the Cancel button is unavailable and dimmed unless the user halts the action in progress by clicking the Stop button in the right pane.


(Optional) Displays help text outside the wizard window, using your application's online help system. Include the Help button only if your help text does not fit in the wizard's right or left pane.


Finishes all remaining parts of the wizard's task. Clicking the Finish button then either closes the wizard or displays the summary page, if there is one. Only the final confirmation page has a Finish button.


Closes a wizard whose task is finished. Include the Close button only on a wizard's summary page (if any).

All wizard pages of the same type should display the same navigation buttons, in the same order.

Table 18 shows the correct order of navigation buttons for each page type. 


Page Type Navigation Buttons

Overview page

Requirements page

User-input pages

Confirmation page 1

1. For a wizard without a Last button

Confirmation page 2

2. For a wizard with a Last button

Progress page 3

3. After a user presses the right pane's Stop button

Summary page

In Table 18, notice that:

  • Each page type has a default navigation button, which users can identify by its heavy border. (For more information about default buttons, see Chapter 10 of Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines , 2d ed.)
  • Unavailable navigation buttons, if displayed, are dimmed. For example, the Back button is always dimmed on a wizard's first page, regardless of its page type.
  • Each button's mnemonic (if any) is underlined, and the mnemonic is the one recommended in Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines , 2d ed. (For more information on recommended mnemonics, see Appendix A in that book.)

 When designing the bottom pane of a wizard page, use the navigation buttons specified in Table 18. Order and format the buttons as specified in the table.

 Place a horizontal separator directly above the bottom pane in a wizard. In the bottom pane, align the left edge of the Back button with the left edge of the right pane. Right-justify the Cancel button and the Help button (if any).

 Make the Next button the default navigation button whenever it is available. Make the Next button unavailable until a user has entered all the required data for the page. (The default navigation button is also known as the default command button.)

 If feasible, provide a Last button in your wizard's bottom pane. A Last button enables users to skip pages with default values and complete the wizard more quickly.

Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics.
  • Each button's mnemonic (if any) is underlined, and the mnemonic is the one recommended in Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines, 2d ed. (For more information on recommended mnemonics, see Appendix A in that book.)
    Copyright 2001. Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Table 18   Order of Navigation Buttons in Wizard Pages 
Table 17   Navigation Buttons for Wizards 
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