A Jigloo SWT Tutorial

In this simple tutorial you will create a simple browser with an "About" dialog.

Topics covered:

First you will need a Java project and (preferably) a package to hold your classes.
If you don't know how to do this then hitting Ctrl+N is a quick way to bring up the "Create" dialog from which you can perform both these steps.

Creating the main application window

Create new Composite
...again, Ctrl+N will show the "create" dialog, from which you should select "GUI forms->SWT->Composite"

As well as creating your composite, Jigloo will copy the jar and native libraries into your project. It copies all the native libraries, even though you generally will not need them all, but you never know...

Choose your editor preferences
Now we've got a Jigloo editor open, let's change how it looks. Click on the "Open Jigloo preferences editor" button in the toolbar to the left of the Jigloo editor. The Eclipse preferences window appears with Jigloo selected. Choose "Appearance and Behaviour" and then "Tabbed panels". This is useful when you want to maximize your design area, but "Split-pane" can be useful if you want to see immediately the connection between code and GUI.

Now hit "OK" and close and re-open the Jigloo editor (you need to do this to change to tabbed panels). If your java class does not immediately re-open in the Jigloo editor, you can ensure that it uses Jigloo's Form Editor by right-clicking on the class and choosing "Open with->Form editor".

Start adding controls

The composite is created initially with a FormLayout manager, which allows you to position elements absolutely and relatively on the form and automatically resizes them as the form changes shape. However, other layouts are useful for certain purposes - for example GridLayout is very useful for situations where your elements are layed out in a grid, with elements spanning multiple rows or columns. If you wish to set a layout manager for a composite, select it from the "layout" palette and then click on the element you wish to apply it to, or right-click on the element and use the "Set Layout" options.

Let's add a "GO" button to the top right of the form. First click on the "Button" icon in the "Controls" palette and "drop" the button in the top-right corner of the form, using the alignment lines.

Then enter a name and initial text (and an icon image if you like) in the dialog that will appear.

You may need to re-adjust the position of the button after it is added to the form - Jigloo does a better job once it knows exactly how big the button is.
Then add a CCombo control to the top left of the form, call it addressCombo with initial value "www.cloudgardensoftware.com" and stretch it over to meet the "GO" button. You can also drag it's bottom edge to make it the same height as the goButton. Then right-click on the addressCombo and choose "Set/Change style...->BORDER", which will give it a 3D border.

Now click on the alignment button at the top-right of the addressCombo - an "alignment helper" should pop up (see image)

Click on the right anchor button till the anchors look the same as in the image above. Now the addressCombo's top, left and right edges are anchored fixed distances from the top, left and right edges of the form and it will expand horizontally if the form is resized.

Then select the goButton and anchor it as shown in the image below, so that it stays fixed in the top right corner of the form (and does not resize) as the form is resized.

Now close the alignment helper and make the main form bigger because we will add more controls - notice that the addressCombo gets wider.

Now add a "Status" CLabel to the bottom left of the form, an "About" Button called (surprise) aboutButton to the bottom-right of the form, a CLabel called statusLabel stretched along the bottom edge between the other label and the aboutButton, and then add a Browser control in the center of the form.

Anchor all controls so that the browser control expands in both directions and the statusLabel expands horizontally.

You can test whether your form behaves as expected when it is resized by clicking the "Preview" button in the outline view.

Creating the About Dialog
Create a new SWT Dialog called AboutDialog (use CTRL+N to open the "New" dialog)

Again, it will already have FormLayout set as it's layout manager.

Add a Button and CLabel as shown, and anchor them so the label stretches both ways and the button is anchored to the bottom-right.

A bit about properties

Now, use the property editor to set the CLabel's alignment to CENTER

Since we are in the property editor, we should take a moment to look at property "categories" which organise properties into "Basic", "Expert", "Hidden" and any other category you might want to create. For instance, if you scroll down a bit in the property list you'll see the "Expert" category, and a property "backgroundImage". You may want to use this property a lot and so move it to the "Basic" category. You can do this by simply right-clicking on a property name and choosing the category you want from the list (see below).

Back to the dialog

Now, just to demonstrate the "Surround by" feature, right-click on the label and choose "Surround by container...->CTabFolder"

Then add a new CTabItem (from the "Items" palette) to the newly-created CTabFolder, add a CLabel to the CTabItem

Add code to dispose dialog

Now, select the OK button and find the "Events" section in the "GUI Properties" view. Then scroll down and open the "SelectionListener" node, and set "widgetSelected" to "inline"

Jigloo will flip to the source code editor, at the place where the widgetSelected event handler has been inserted. Edit the code to add
as shown, so that the dialog will close when the OK button is hit.

Add event code to main composite

But how will the dialog appear in the first place? We will add code to the main composite's aboutButton event handler, so go back to the main composite and add a SelectionListener.widgetSelected event handler for the aboutButton. If you like, use a "handlerMethod" instead of "inline" this time. Then add the following code to the event handler:

AboutDialog about = new AboutDialog(getShell(), SWT.DIALOG_TRIM);

Now, it would be nice if the statusLabel's text were updated from the browser, so add a StatusTextListener.changed event handler to the browser control (using Jigloo's event editor, of course) and add a single line of code (shown in bold text below) so the handler looks like this:

browser1.addStatusTextListener(new StatusTextListener() {
      public void changed(StatusTextEvent evt) {

Now, we need to be able to send a url to the browser, so we will add a method that will do that, and also add the url to the addressCombo's list (if it is not already in it)

private void go() {
    String url = addressCombo.getText();

    if(addressCombo.indexOf(url) < 0)

Then we will add a KeyListener.keyPressed handler to the addressCombo (using Jigloo's event editor), so that when "Enter" is pressed the url will be sent to the browser

addressCombo.addKeyListener(new KeyAdapter() {
   public void keyPressed(KeyEvent evt) {
      if(evt.keyCode == SWT.CR)

And finally, a simple SelectionListener.widgetSelected handler to the goButton

goButton.addSelectionListener(new SelectionAdapter() {
    public void widgetSelected(SelectionEvent evt) {

Running the app

Congratulations! You are all done! Hit CTRL+S to save the form. A quick way to run the main method of the class you just created is to click the "Run" button in the Outline view.

And here it is running...