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7.4 GridLayout

The GridLayout layout manager is ideal for laying out objects in rows and columns, where each cell in the layout has the same size. Components are added to the layout from left to right, top to bottom. setLayout(new GridLayout(2,3)) changes the LayoutManager of the current container to a 2 row by 3 column GridLayout. Figure 7.6 shows an applet using this layout.

GridLayout Methods

Constructors

public GridLayout () (New)

This constructor creates a GridLayout initially configured to have one row, an infinite number of columns, and no gaps. A gap is the space between adjacent components in the horizontal or vertical direction. With a gap of zero, components in adjacent cells will have no space between them.

public GridLayout (int rows, int columns)

This constructor creates a GridLayout initially configured to be rows x columns in size. The default setting for horizontal and vertical gaps is zero pixels. The gap is the space between adjacent components in the horizontal and vertical directions. With a gap of zero, components in adjacent cells will have no space between them.

You can set the number of rows or columns to zero; this means that the layout will grow without bounds in that direction. If both rows and columns are zero, the run-time exception IllegalArgumentException will be thrown.

NOTE:

The rows and columns passed to the GridLayout constructor are only recommended values. It is possible that the system will pick other values if the number of objects you add to the layout is sufficiently different from the size you requested; for example, you placed nine objects in a six-element grid.

public GridLayout (int rows, int columns, int hgap, int vgap)

This version of the constructor is called by the previous one. It creates a GridLayout with an initial configuration of rows x columns, with a horizontal gap of hgap and vertical gap of vgap. The gap is the space between the different components in the different directions, measured in pixels. It is possible to have negative gaps if you want components to overlap.

You can set the number of rows or columns to zero; this means that the layout will grow without bounds in that direction. If both rows and columns are zero, the run-time exception IllegalArgumentException will be thrown.

Informational methods

public int getColumns () (New)

The getColumns() method retrieves the current column setting, which may differ from the number of columns displayed.

public void setColumns (int columns) (New)

The setColumns() method changes the current column setting to columns. After changing the setting, you must validate() the Container. If you try to set the number of rows and the number of columns to zero, this method throws the run-time exception IllegalArgumentException.

public int getRows () (New)

The getRows() method retrieves the current row setting; this may differ from the number of rows displayed.

public void setRows (int rows) (New)

The setRows() method changes the current row setting to rows. After changing the setting, you must validate() the Container. If you try to set the number of rows and the number of columns to zero, this method throws the run-time exception IllegalArgumentException.

public int getHgap () (New)

The getHgap() method retrieves the current horizontal gap setting.

public void setHgap (int hgap) (New)

The setHgap() method changes the current horizontal gap setting to hgap. After changing the gaps, you must validate() the Container.

public int getVgap () (New)

The getVgap() method retrieves the current vertical gap setting.

public void setVgap (int hgap) (New)

The setVgap() method changes the current vertical gap setting to vgap. After changing the gaps, you must validate() the Container.

LayoutManager methods

public void addLayoutComponent (String name, Component component)

The addLayoutComponent() method of GridLayout does nothing.

public void removeLayoutComponent (Component component)

The removeLayoutComponent() method of GridLayout does nothing.

public Dimension preferredLayoutSize (Container target)

The preferredLayoutSize() method of GridLayout calculates the preferred dimensions for the components in target. The preferred size depends on the size of the grid, which may not be the size requested by the constructor; the GridLayout treats the constructor's arguments as recommendations and may ignore them if appropriate.

The actual number of rows and columns is based upon the number of components within the Container. The GridLayout tries to observe the number of rows requested first, calculating the number of columns. If the requested number of rows is nonzero, the number of columns is determined by (# components + rows - 1) / rows. If request is for zero rows, the number of rows to use is determined by a similar formula: (# components + columns - 1) / columns. Table 7.1 demonstrates this calculation. The last entry in this table is of special interest: if you request a 3x3 grid but only place four components in the layout, you get a 2x2 layout as a result. If you do not want to be surprised, size the GridLayout based on the number of objects you plan to put into the display.

Table 7.1: GridLayout Row/Column Calculation
Rows Columns # Components Display Rows Display Columns
0 1 10 10 1
0 2 10 5 2
1 0 10 1 10
2 0 10 2 5
2 3 10 2 5
2 3 20 2 10
3 2 10 3 4
3 3 3 3 1
3 3 4 2 2


Once we know the dimensions of the grid, it's easy to compute the preferred size for the layout. The GridLayout takes the maximum height and maximum width of the preferred sizes for all the components in the layout. (Note that the maximum width and maximum height aren't necessarily from the same component.) This becomes the preferred size of each cell within the layout. The preferred size of the layout as a whole is computed using the preferred size of a cell and adding gaps and insets as appropriate.

public Dimension minimumLayoutSize (Container target)

The minimumLayoutSize() method of GridLayout calculates the minimum dimensions for the components in target. First it determines the actual number of rows and columns in the final layout, using the method described previously. The minimumLayoutSize() method then determines the widest and tallest getMinimumSize() of a component, and this becomes the minimum size of a cell within the layout. The minimum size of the layout as a whole is computed using the minimum size of a cell and adding gaps and insets as appropriate.

public void layoutContainer (Container target)

The layoutContainer() method draws target's components on the screen in a series of rows and columns. Each component within a GridLayout will be the same size, if it is possible. If there is insufficient space for all the components, the size of each is reduced proportionally.

Miscellaneous methods

public String toString ()

The toString() method of GridLayout returns a string including the current horizontal and vertical gap settings, along with the rows and columns settings. For a GridLayout created with 2 rows and 3 columns, the result would be:

java.awt.GridLayout[hgap=0,vgap=0,rows=2,cols=3]


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