BorderLayout is the default LayoutManager for a Window. It provides a very flexible way of positioning components along the edges of the window. The following call to setLayout() changes the LayoutManager of the current container to the default BorderLayout: setLayout(new BorderLayout()). Figure 7.4 shows a typical BorderLayout.
BorderLayout is the only layout provided that requires you to name components when you add them to the layout; if you're using a BorderLayout, you must use add(String name, Component component) in Java 1.0 or add(Component component, String name) in Java 1.1 (parameter order switched). (The CardLayout can use these versions of add(), but does not require it.) The name parameter of add() specifies the region to which the component should be added. The five different regions are "North", "South", "East", and "West" for the edges of the window, and "Center" for any remaining interior space. These names are case sensitive. It is not necessary that a container use all five regions. If a region is not used, it relinquishes its space to the regions around it. If you add() multiple objects to a single region, the layout manager only displays the last one. If you want to display multiple objects within a region, group them within a Panel first, then add() the Panel.
In Java 1.1, if you do not provide a name, the component is placed in the "Center" region.
Prior to Java 1.1, you had to use string constants to specify the constraints when adding a component to a container whose layout is BorderLayout. With Java 1.1, you can use class constants, instead of a literal string, in the following list.
The CENTER constant represents the "Center" string and indicates that a component should be added to the center region.
The EAST constant represents the "East" string and indicates that a component should be added to the east region.
The NORTH constant represents the "North" string and indicates that a component should be added to the north region.
The SOUTH constant represents the "South" string and indicates that a component should be added to the south region.
The WEST constant represents the "West" string and indicates that a component should be added to the west region.
This constructor creates a BorderLayout using a default setting of zero pixels for the horizontal and vertical gaps. The gap specifies the space between adjacent components. With horizontal and vertical gaps of zero, components in adjacent regions will touch each other. As Figure 7.4 shows, each component within a BorderLayout will be resized to fill an entire region.
This version of the constructor allows you to create a BorderLayout with a horizontal gap of hgap and vertical gap of vgap, putting some space between the different components. The units for gaps are pixels. It is possible to have negative gaps if you want components to overlap.
The getHgap() method retrieves the current horizontal gap setting.
The setHgap() method changes the current horizontal gap setting to hgap. After changing the gaps, you must validate() the Container.
The getVgap() method retrieves the current vertical gap setting.
The setVgap() method changes the current vertical gap setting to vgap. After changing the gaps, you must validate() the Container.
This version of addLayoutComponent() has been deprecated and replaced by the addLayoutComponent(Component, Object) method of the LayoutManager2 interface.
The removeLayoutComponent() method of BorderLayout removes component from the container, if it is in one of the five regions. If component is not in the container already, nothing happens.
The preferredLayoutSize() method of BorderLayout calculates the preferred dimensions for the components in target. To compute the preferred height, a BorderLayout adds the height of the getPreferredSize() of the north and south components to the maximum getPreferredSize() height of the east, west, and center components. The vertical gaps are added in for the north and south components, if present. The top and bottom insets are also added into the height. To compute the preferred width, a BorderLayout adds the width of the getPreferredSize() of east, west, and center components, along with the horizontal gap for the east and west regions. It compares this value to the preferred widths of the north and south components. The BorderLayout takes the maximum of these three and then adds the left and right insets, plus twice the horizontal gap. The result is the preferred width for the container.
The minimumLayoutSize() method of BorderLayout calculates the minimum dimensions for the components in target. To compute the minimum height, a BorderLayout adds the height of the getMinimumSize() of the north and south components to the maximum of the minimum heights of the east, west, and center components. The vertical gaps are added in for the north and south components, if present, along with the container's top and bottom insets. To compute the minimum width, a BorderLayout adds the width of the getMinimumSize() of east, west, and center components, along with the horizontal gap for the east and west regions. The BorderLayout takes the maximum of these three and then adds the left and right insets, plus twice the horizontal gap. The result is the minimum width for the container.
The layoutContainer() method draws target's components on the screen in the appropriate regions. The north region takes up the entire width of the container along the top. South does the same along the bottom. The heights of north and south will be the heights of the components they contain. The east and west regions are given the widths of the components they contain. For height, east and west are given whatever is left in the container after satisfying north's and south's height requirements. If there is any extra vertical space, the east and west components are resized accordingly. Any space left in the middle of the screen is assigned to the center region. If there is insufficient space for all the components, space is allocated according to the following priority: north, south, west, east, and center. Unlike FlowLayout, BorderLayout reshapes the internal components of the container to fit within their region. Figure 7.5 shows what happens if the east and south regions are not present and the gaps are nonzero.
This addLayoutComponent() method puts component in the name region of the container. In Java 1.1, if name is null, component is added to the center. If the name is not "North", "South", "East", "West", or "Center", the component is added to the container but won't be displayed. Otherwise, it is displayed in the appropriate region.
There can only be one component in any region, so any component already in the named region is removed. To get multiple components in one region of a BorderLayout, group the components in another container, and add the container as a whole to the layout.
If name is not a String, addLayoutComponent() throws the run-time exception IllegalArgumentException.
The maximumLayoutSize() method returns a Dimension object with a width and height of Integer.MAX_VALUE. In effect, this means that BorderLayout does not support the concept of maximum size.
The getLayoutAlignmentX() method says that BorderLayout containers should be centered horizontally within the area available.
The getLayoutAlignmentY() method says that BorderLayout containers should centered vertically within the area available.
The invalidateLayout() method of BorderLayout does nothing.
The toString() method of BorderLayout returns a string showing the current horizontal and vertical gap settings. If both gaps are zero, the result will be: