Best GUI Builders for Java Swing Applications

Sarwan Soomro Feb 16, 2024
  1. Why Do We Use Java Swing
  2. Windows Builder Eclipse Plugin
  3. NetBeans Java Swing GUI Builder
Best GUI Builders for Java Swing Applications

A great graphical user interface integrates features such as customization control, split viewing of design code, and an easy-to-use interface and should be clean and lightweight.

In this article, first, we will show how to install the Windows builder GUI development plugin for the Java Swing Designer Application in Eclipse. Second, we will also show you how to use NetBeans Java Swing GUI development.

Why Do We Use Java Swing

Java Swing Class is a compact graphical user interface platform that helps reduce the time and effort to repeat tasks. You can navigate/toggle to choose between gadgets, and your code will be generated automatically.

It is a foundation class in Java that aids in creating window-based applications. Furthermore, you can use GUI developers to construct Java Swing apps because it is open-source.

Classification of Java Swing Class

To understand Java Swing more clearly, please see the following diagram.

java swing class classification

Diagram Summary:

The diagram depicts the relationship between a Java object at the top and a JFrame at the bottom.

All of the components we as users frequently interact with, such as Lists, Buttons, Texts, and so on, are inherited by the JComponent class.

Furthermore, we can see that the containers were added higher with the component and lower with our operating system; these extend on frames and dialogue boxes on the user’s operating system.

All key Swing elements are included in the foundation within one’s graphical user interface app.

Windows Builder Eclipse Plugin

This Eclipse plugin integrates SWT Designer and Swing Designer into a single package.

You can develop Java GUI apps without wiring code. Its WYSIWYG visual designer, for example, provides you with layout tools to create simple forms for complex windows.

It’s cool since it helps generate the code for you. Furthermore, you can add controls to your settings by using drag-and-drop capabilities, null layouts, and event handling.

You can also use a properties editor to modify the properties of your settings.

Windows Builder Plugin:

Follow These Steps:

  • Installation: WindowBuilder
  • Add to Eclipse (drag-and-drop):

    drag and drop to install windows builder

  • Confirm the installation process:

    eclipse plugin windows builder

Install Windows Builder Plugin From Eclipse Marketplace

The following way to download WB is another simple approach for installing Windows Builder in your Eclipse IDE.

You have to start your Eclipse and see what version it is.

We are using Eclipse 2021-12.
  • Then go to Help.
  • Select Install New Software.
  • Search for your Eclipse version.
  • Click on General Purpose Tools.
  • Check all the Windows Builder features you want to install.
  • Once you have checked all the options, confirm and wait for the installation process to finish.

    install windows builder tools from eclipse

  • Do not forget to restart Eclipse after the installation has finished.

Use Windows Builder for Swing GUI Development

After successfully installing all the resources from the Eclipse marketplace server repository into your local workstation, you should be thinking, how do I create a Java Swing Application using the Windows Builder GUI development platform?

Do the following steps:

  • Go to File.
  • Choose New.
  • Other
  • Search WindowBuilder => Swing Designer => Application Window.
You can also select other tools from the WB. We have also created the following demo for you to follow the correct steps.

how to use windows builder gui development in eclipse


We demonstrated two simple methods for installing a GUI Builder in your IDE. We also categorized a Java Swing class and talked about the significance of GUI-based Swing development.

NetBeans Java Swing GUI Builder

NetBeans GUI Builder supports the production of sophisticated and elegant graphical user interface applications. The best part is that you don’t have to be a pro to do it.

You also don’t need deep expertise in layout management. Even a beginner can try it out and create an excellent Java application using Jforms or other components from the Java Swing Foundation class.

What does this IDE offer?

  1. Open Source
  2. Layout Management
  3. Container-based lightweight development
  4. Availability of Null layouts
  5. Powerful customization
  6. Drag-and-drop features
  7. Easy to use

Are you already excited?

First, you need to download Apache NetBeans IDE if you have not.

  1. Download: NetBeans

  2. Once downloaded, launch and create a new project.

    create your first gui app with netbeans

  3. After that, type your project name and finish.

  4. Once you have created a new project, you need to create a class. Right-click on your project > new > class.

    create swing class on netbeans

NetBeans will generate the following code dynamically after finishing it.
public class Demo2 extends javax.swing.JFrame {
  public Demo2() {
  // <editor-fold defaultstate="collapsed" desc="Generated Code">
  private void initComponents() {
    javax.swing.GroupLayout layout = new javax.swing.GroupLayout(getContentPane());
                                  .addGap(0, 400, Short.MAX_VALUE));
                                .addGap(0, 300, Short.MAX_VALUE));
  } // </editor-fold>
  public static void main(String args[]) {
    //<editor-fold defaultstate="collapsed" desc=" Look and feel setting code (optional) ">
    try {
      for (javax.swing.UIManager.LookAndFeelInfo info :
          javax.swing.UIManager.getInstalledLookAndFeels()) {
        if ("Nimbus".equals(info.getName())) {
    } catch (ClassNotFoundException ex) {
          .log(java.util.logging.Level.SEVERE, null, ex);
    } catch (InstantiationException ex) {
          .log(java.util.logging.Level.SEVERE, null, ex);
    } catch (IllegalAccessException ex) {
          .log(java.util.logging.Level.SEVERE, null, ex);
    } catch (javax.swing.UnsupportedLookAndFeelException ex) {
          .log(java.util.logging.Level.SEVERE, null, ex);
    java.awt.EventQueue.invokeLater(new Runnable() {
      public void run() {
        new Demo2().setVisible(true);


We’d like you to forget about the code for a moment! It’s just the beauty of GUI builders that you’ll be able to evaluate with more expertise and understanding of the fundamentals.

Can you see the connections now? So it must be a yes.

IDE builders will make your coding more accessible. It is not - however, the best practice for everybody.

Yet, if you can get the job done, custom drag and drop should not compromise your skill sets.

That said, given a few days of continuous effort, you will be able to create essential Windows-based Java Swing apps and others.

If you’re still confused, here’s how to get started with your first Java Swing project in NetBeans.

Use netbeans to create java swing gui

Sarwan Soomro avatar Sarwan Soomro avatar

Sarwan Soomro is a freelance software engineer and an expert technical writer who loves writing and coding. He has 5 years of web development and 3 years of professional writing experience, and an MSs in computer science. In addition, he has numerous professional qualifications in the cloud, database, desktop, and online technologies. And has developed multi-technology programming guides for beginners and published many tech articles.


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