implement grid in java.awt - cells span multiple columns

Posted on 2007-12-06
Last Modified: 2013-11-23

I need to create a grid like component in java.awt (not using Swing) where cells span multiple rows.
Has anyone done this?

Question by:SAJC
  • 3
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 20418105
not that i'm aware of , not much is done using straigt awt these days.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Bart Cremers
ID: 20418452
You can get far by using a GridBagLayout:
 * Copyright (c) 2007, Your Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.WindowAdapter;
import java.awt.event.WindowEvent;
 * @author Bart Cremers
 * @since 6-dec-2007
public class GridExample extends Panel {
    private static final GridBagConstraints gbc = new GridBagConstraints();
    static {
        gbc.fill = GridBagConstraints.BOTH;
        gbc.weightx = 1.0;
        gbc.weighty = 1.0;
    public GridExample() {
        super(new GridBagLayout());
        add(new BorderedLabel("A"), 1, 1, 1, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("B"), 1, 2, 1, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("C"), 1, 3, 1, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("D"), 1, 4, 1, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("E"), 1, 5, 1, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("F"), 2, 1, 1, 3);
        add(new BorderedLabel("G"), 2, 4, 1, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("H"), 2, 5, 3, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("I"), 3, 1, 1, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("J"), 3, 2, 2, 2);
        add(new BorderedLabel("K"), 3, 4, 1, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("L"), 4, 1, 1, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("M"), 4, 4, 1, 1);
        add(new BorderedLabel("N"), 4, 5, 1, 1);
    private void add(Component comp, int row, int col, int rowspan, int colspan) {
        gbc.gridx = col;
        gbc.gridy = row;
        gbc.gridwidth = colspan;
        gbc.gridheight = rowspan;
        add(comp, gbc);
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        final Frame frame = new Frame();
        frame.addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
            public void windowClosing(WindowEvent e) {
        frame.add(new GridExample());
    private static class BorderedLabel extends Label {
        private BorderedLabel(String text) {
            super(text, CENTER);
        public void paint(Graphics g) {
            g.drawRect(0, 0, getWidth() - 1, getHeight() - 1);

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Author Comment

ID: 20440795
Thanks for the above Bart, however, my fault, I should have stated I can't use GridBagLayout.
Sorry for late reply.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Bart Cremers
ID: 20440818
What's the reason for not being able to use gridbaglayout? It's available in AWT.

Author Comment

ID: 20441120
The reason for not using any of the AWT layouts is that the number of rows and columns are arbitrary.
Will not know these till runtime.

LVL 13

Accepted Solution

Bart Cremers earned 500 total points
ID: 20441232
GridBagLayout doesn't require you to create a grid with fixed rows and colums up front.

You can simply dynamically add new "cells" or remove them.

Author Comment

ID: 20441682
ok, thanks Bart

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