AWT vs Swing: Difference and Comparison

Java is a popular and in-demand programming language. It has formed the basis for developing various applications. It is a versatile language and can be easily customized. The language is reliable and fast and caters to functions like web service, android applications, and others. The two common ways to develop GUI (Graphical User Interface) based applications are AWT and Swing.


IT Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to technology

1 / 10

Which of the following most advanced form of AI?

2 / 10

A process that is repeated, evaluated, and refined is called __________

3 / 10

Mark Zuckerberg is the owner of

4 / 10

Which web browser is developed by the Google

5 / 10

While making the text bold in Word, what do you need to do first?

6 / 10

AI systems are made up of

7 / 10

Mac Operating System is developed by which company

8 / 10

Who founded Microsoft?

9 / 10

LED stands for:

10 / 10

Which two websites offer free e-mail services?

Your score is


Key Takeaways

  1. AWT (Abstract Window Toolkit) is a Java GUI framework with a limited set of components and less flexibility in design.
  2. Swing, an extension of AWT, offers a wider range of components, improved customization, and a more modern look and feel.
  3. Both frameworks facilitate the creation of graphical user interfaces, but Swing is the preferred choice for modern Java applications.

AWT vs Swing

The difference between AWT and Swing is that AWT of Java is the original windowing and user interface widget toolkit, which is platform-dependent, while Swing is a special GUI widget toolkit in Java. Swing is an extension of AWT and is built on AWT.

AWT vs Swing

AWT stands for Abstract Window Toolkit. Sun Microsystems devised the API in the year 1995. It is generated by the operating system of the system’s host. The function of AWT is used to design and manage GUI. The major components of AWT are buttons, radio buttons, checkboxes, choice buttons, labels, and text fields.

On the other hand, Swing has lightweight components, which have wider functionality and execute within a short period. Swing of Java actively supports MVC patterns. The major components of Swing are Imagelcon, JButton, JLabel, JTextfield, JRadiobutton, JCheckbox, JPasswordField, JList, JFileChooser, JComboBox, JTabbedPane, JSlider, and others.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAWTSwing
Definition It is an API that is used to develop applications in JavaIt is a part of JFC that is used to create numerous applications
Nature of components The components of AWT are platform-dependent The components of Swing are platform-independent
Type The components of AWT are heavily weighted The components of Swing are lightly weighted
Dependency on platform AWT components are platform-dependent Swing components are platform-independent
MVC pattern AWT does not support the MVC patternSwing supports MVC pattern

What is AWT?

AWT was launched and developed by Sun Microsystems in 1995. The full form of AWT is Abstract Window Toolkit. It is an API that is used to develop GUI and is platform-dependent. The system host of the operating system generates it. It is heavy, and it contains a huge number of classes, functions, and methods that are efficient in the management and creation of GUI.

To develop an AWT-based GUI, the programmer has to import packages like java. awt. The components of AWT are heavy and require considerably large memory space. The execution time and speed of AWT are slow to medium-paced. AWT of Java has a moderate quality of components.

AWT requires a native operating system to implement all the functionalities. The components of AWT offer features like dialogues, buttons, lists, scroll bars, text fields, panels, and many other features. AWT Java also provides the required space for any component to load. It has the potential to look different from every other operating system.

AWT provides two levels of API – a general interface and a basic set of GUI widgets. AWT also offers some functionalities that can be considered high-level, like access to the system tray and the potential to launch desktop applications from Java applications.

What is Swing?

Swing is a GUI of Java that is used in the creation of other applications. Swing is written in Java language. It is platform-independent and allows the users to make scroll bars and buttons for the application. It also provides various packages that can help manage and create desktop applications in Java. Swing is a part of JFC (Java Foundation Classes).

Swing is a widget toolkit and is built as an extension of AWT. It was built on top of the Java AWT. The components of Swing offer functions like buttons, labels, and text boxes. It also provides advanced-level components like tables, tabbed panes, trees, etc. The components of Swing are more sophisticated than other toolkits of Java.

The Swing also has numerous classes like JTable, JTextArea, JButton, JList, JCheckBox, and others. The components are lightweight and do not require much memory space. This further makes the functions execute faster and more efficiently within a short time. Swing has the inculcation of an MVC pattern (Model View Controller), which helps to maintain the code easily.

To import Swing Java, the programmers use packages like javax. swing. This is the method to write a Swing application. The Swing toolkit of Java was launched in the market in the beta stage in 1997 and later in full form in March 1998.

Main Differences Between AWT and Swing

  1. The function of AWT is to develop GUI applications in Java, while the function of Swing is to create numerous applications.
  2. AWT has heavy API components, while Swing has lightweight API components.
  3. AWT has fewer functions and methods, while Swing has more functions when compared to AWT.
  4. The time of execution in Java AWT is more, while the time of execution in Java Swing is comparatively less.
  5. The components of AWT are less powerful and platform-dependent, while the components of Swing are more powerful and platform-independent.
  6. The look and feel of AWT are not pluggable, while the look and feel of Swing are pluggable.
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!