Difference Between JPanel and JFrame

Both JFrame and JPanel are classes used in Java. The latter is a programming language that is object-oriented and class-based.


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Key Takeaways

  1. JPanel is a lightweight container in the Java Swing GUI toolkit for organizing and grouping components within a window.
  2. JFrame is a top-level container in the Java Swing GUI toolkit, providing a window with a title bar, borders, and buttons for closing, minimizing, and maximizing the window.
  3. JPanels are typically used within JFrames to create complex, organized user interfaces.

JPanel vs JFrame

The difference between JPanel and JFrame is that JPanel refers to a space where different types of visuals e.g. pictures, texts or figures and controls like text-fields, buttons etc. can become visible. JFrame represents an independent window with its unique characteristics.

Jpanel vs Jframe

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JPanel is a broad purpose container that is used for putting in a set of more complex components or operations. It represents a space where one can see various controls such as check-boxes, buttons and text-fields as well as visuals like pictures and texts.

 JFrame on the other hand, is the basic container which is used for storing in components like buttons, labels and text fields. However, unlike a JPanel, a JFrame also contains a title bar.


Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonJPanelJFrame
Parent classjavax.swing.JComponentjava.awt.Frame
What is it?A specific area for putting in GUI components and operations.A window for developing independent GUI applications.
Title BarThere is no title bar.It contains a title bar.
Can containMultiple GUI components and operations.Multiple frames and JPanels.


What is JPanel?

It refers to a general container used to assemble a group of components in synchronization. It is quite an uncomplicated component which usually does not possess a graphical user interface (GUI).

The JPanel container class is found in the javax.swing package. The swing is an extension of the Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) which is the first generation of Java Application Programming Interface (API).

The JPanel is a very simple and lightweight container which is a subclass of the java.swing.JComponent class. The JComponent in turn is a subclass of the container.

The JPanel enables one to place checkboxes, buttons, images, fields, labels and even texts into it. It s mainly defined as an area where controls and visuals can be placed in.

 To use a JPanel, one needs to first create its object which is done by calling for a constructor JPanel (). Following this invocation, a blank panel is generated. It looks grim by default but its background colour can be changed by invoking the appropriate methods of JPanel class.

For that one needs to use the Layout managers. There are a variety of Layout managers such as Border Layout, Grid Layout and Flow Layout and so on.


What is JFrame?

It is the base or foundation container used for creating independent GUI applications. It appears and runs like a window such as a notification window or a warning window that normally pops up on computer screens.

Just like JPanel, it is also part of the swing toolkit but its parent class is Java.awt.Frame. That is to say, it is an extended version of the Frame found in Java Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT), the oldest generation of Java API.

It possesses its constructors and methods which are used to place components like text fields, buttons, borders, title bar etc. inside it and customise its physical features like fonts, size, colours and alignments and so on.

It has two sub-divisions, namely menu bar and content pane. The components of JFrame are known as contents and most of the contents are found in the content pane.

JFrame employs a method of windows listener that starts working whenever a person carries out operations like activating, closing, opening, minimizing or maximizing a window. It also employs a mouse listener so that the frame can react to the actions of the mouse.

A JFrame can place inside itself multiple frames and JPanels but all of them depend on the mainframe for their existence. A large number of functions can be created for the JFrame by using not only the methods of Listeners but also the methods of get, set and add methods.

jframe 2

Main Differences Between JPanel and JFrame

  1. Both JPanel and JFrame are container classes. But the parent of the former is javax.swing.JComponent class. While the latter is the child of java.awt.Frame class.
  2. In terms of weight, JFrame is heavy and is employed as a top-level window. While JPanel is light and is used for organising Graphical User Interface (GUI) components.
  3. JFrame is a window used for creating independent GUI applications. While Jpanel is a space where one can put together a group of complex components or operations.
  4. Being a window, JFrame contains a title bar. While Jpanel does not contain a title bar.
  5. JFrame can contain within itself multiple frames and JPanels. But JPanel cannot contain within itself JFrames. However, it can place within itself multiple operations.

  1. https://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/javax/swing/JFrame.html
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