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Designing Responsive User Interfaces with JavaFX Layout Containers

Layouts arrange graphical user interface components, such as buttons, labels, text fields, and other controls. They provide a flexible and consistent way to position and size UI components, regardless of the screen size and resolution. In this article, we will cover how to create a JavaFX responsive UI with the help of JavaFX layouts.

Does JavaFX provide automatic responsiveness?

No, JavaFX does not provide automatic responsiveness out of the box, but it does provide the tools and mechanisms necessary to create responsive user interfaces. To make a JavaFX UI responsive, you need to design the UI in a way that allows it to adjust to different screen sizes and resolutions. This can involve using layout containers such as HBox, VBox, BorderPane, and GridPane, which automatically adjust their size.

How to start with making an application?

You must first choose the parent container for JavaFX Layouts for your application. So, there are two options to consider: BorderPane and AnchorPane.


BorderPane is the most suitable choice as it provides a simple and convenient way to arrange the UI elements in the top, center, and bottom sections of the window. The BorderPane layout container divides the window into five areas: top, right, bottom, left, and center. You can add UI elements to each area by setting the appropriate properties of the BorderPane.


Below is an example code to start with:

For the above code, the UI can be shown below:

Does the BorderPane Container make the application fully responsive?

No, the BorderPane container can help make an application responsive, but it is not a complete solution.

Why are we using it?

So, the BorderPane can help in making an application responsive to some extent. Making an application fully responsive typically involves using a using of layout containers, resizing policies, and constraints.


Is any other container needed to make the application fully responsive?

As I have encountered, the Hbox and VBox layout plays a major role in making your application responsive but that doesn’t mean they are the only layout. In different scenarios, we have to use different layouts as well. But for now, let's focus on HBox and VBox.

Let’s learn the Use of HBox and Vbox in simple terms.

HBox represents the elements that are going to be aligned horizontally.

VBox represents the elements that are going to be aligned vertically.

It's preferred to use the combination of HBox and VBox to make the application responsive. The attributes VBox.vgrow and HBox.hgrow should be used as attributes so that they can adapt to screen resizing.


 

There are many more things that need to be covered in order to make an application responsive. In the next article, I will try to cover more topics.

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