ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Programming in Java Netbeans - A Step by Step Tutorial for Beginners: Lesson 37

Updated on October 16, 2019
dwachira profile image

Danson Wachira is a certified Trainer in Computer Science, Information Technology and related studies.

Lesson 37: Working with GUI controls: Label and Text Field

In the previous lesson, we learnt how to create a blank Java NetBeans form. In this lesson, we shall learn how we can work with various controls on the form and how we can manipulate these controls. A control is a visual object you add onto a form that can be manipulate through codes to perform an action or event, incidentally, a form is also an object.

In Java NetBeans there are several controls that can be added onto a form through drag and drop action. These include Command button, Combo box, Check box, Radio button, Text area, List box, Menus etc. Each of these controls has its own use and way of manipulation including events that can be associated with each control.


For example, for a button to perform an action when it is clicked, it must have defined codes that perform the intended action. While some of the controls many not necessarily need codes to perform an action, many will do and it is important to understand how to code and manipulate specific controls.

From the previous lessons of this tutorial you have gained valuable programming knowledge and skills of how to code and especially on use of methods and classes. This knowledge will be useful when dealing with the various visual controls on a form.

Label GUI control in Java NetBeans

We’ll start with one of the simplest GUI control to add onto a form, the Label control. This control enables the user to add a text strip on the form that can contain text at design time or at run time. To add a Label onto the form, locate the Label control on the Palette window under the Swing controls, drag and drop to the form.

The Label control can be manipulated by changing its properties such as vertical and horizontal sizes, font, foreground color, text, name etc.

Check these Label properties on the Properties window. To fast change Label’s vertical and horizontal sizes, you can use the re-size hurdles found on it borders.

We are going to change the default “jLabel1” text of the Label control to “Java NetBeans Controls.” We’ll also change the font to Calibri, size 16, bold and foreground color to blue.

To quickly change the Label text, right-click on the Label and choose “Edit Text”, you’ll need to re-size the Label for the text to fit. Apply the other mentioned properties.

Text Field GUI control in Java NetBeans

Another commonly used GUI control is the Text field. This control presents the user with a text box where the user can type or enter inputs. To add a Text field onto a form, locate the Text field control on the Palette window under the Swing controls, drag and drop onto the form.

The default text in a Text field is “jTextField1” we can delete this since it is meaningless. Controls are referenced by their specific names when you want to reference them in the code so it is very important that we give them meaningful names. Let us call the Text field “txtshow” for now. To rename the Text field or any other control, right-click on it and choose “Change Variable Name”, enter the name in the dialog box.

Up to this point, we have not used any code to manipulate the controls although we could have used in one way or the other. For simplicity, we’ll leave the Label and Text Field GUI controls at that until later lessons. You have made the first step in working with Java NetBeans GUI controls. The best way to get used into working with GUI controls is to get hands-on skills on different methods and tricks of manipulating them. In the next lesson, we shall cover Command buttons as a GUI control.

<< Lesson 36 | Lesson 38 >>


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • dwachira profile imageAUTHOR

      Danson Wachira 

      7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi ahmad,

      We'll look into that, please drop your email here and i will send a working sample to you. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      hey there.. just want to ask.. how to pass value jtextfield on another jframe form?

    • dwachira profile imageAUTHOR

      Danson Wachira 

      7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi EverProgrammer,

      Thanks for your positive comment, i do appreciate.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice tutorial, i like the way you explain and you have arranged it very well, easy for any beginner.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)