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AWT Fundamentals
About This Short Course

By jGuru

About This Short Course |  Short Course  |  Exercises |  Download

The Java Developer ConnectionSM (JDC) presents a Short Course introducing the Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) technology written by JavaTM Software licensee jGuru (formerly named the MageLang Institute). A leading-edge Java developer community, jGuru has contributed regularly to the JDC since 1996.

jGuru has been dedicated to promoting the growth of the Java technology community through evangelism, education, and software since 1995. You can find out more about their activities, including community-driven FAQs and online learning, at

Please send comments about the course to

The AWT is the window to the world for Java technology. This module will teach you how to use the Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) to allow your programs to create a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to interact with your users. With this tutorial, you will learn how to use components or "widgets" (windows, buttons, checkboxes, scrollbars, menus, and so forth) to display your graphical interface and how to work with events to respond to input from the user. For information on positioning these components in a platform independent manner, please see the Effective Layout Management tutorial also on the JDC from jGuru. If you are interested in using the second-generation components, built on top of AWT, you can try out the two-part JFC/Swing tutorials: Part 1 and Part 2.


After completing this module you will understand:

  • What AWT components are available for creating GUIs
  • What the event delegation model is for creating responsive GUIs


By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Build graphical user interfaces using AWT
  • Display all of the Java graphical components, called widgets
  • Make widgets respond to physical events such as mouse clicks, key presses, or button pushes
  • Create windows and menus for standalone Java applications


A general familiarity with object-oriented programming concepts, the Java programming language, and the ability to modify and build simple Java programs. If you are not familiar with the Java Programming Language and object-oriented concepts, see Sun's online Java Tutorial or the Object-Oriented Programming lesson in the Java Programming Language Basics, Part 2 offering.

About the Authors

Scott Stanchfield is the AWT and Swing FAQ guru at and a strong advocate of layout manager use, hunting developers who use absolute positioning for sport. He is the author of the Effective VisualAge for Java book from Wiley, and and maintains the VisualAge for Java Tips and Tricks resource.

John Zukowski is the Content Czar at He is the author of John Zukowski's Definitive Guide to Swing for Java 2 and Mastering Java 2, as well as many other technical publications and articles. He serves on the Senior Advisory Board at JavaWorld and as the Focus on Java guide at

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[ This page was updated: 17-Jul-2000 ]
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