About Fahd Shariff

Fahd is a software engineer working in the financial services industry. He is passionate about technology and specializes in Java application development in distributed environments.

Java 7 Swing: Creating Translucent and Shaped Windows

Java 7 Swing supports windows with transparency and non-rectangular shapes. The following screenshot shows a circular window created with 75% opacity.

You can create a translucent window by altering its opacity using the setOpacity method on a JFrame. Note that you can only create translucent windows if the underlying operating system supports them. Also, ensure that the window is undecorated by calling setUndecorated(true).TranslucentCircularFrame

To change the shape of the window, call the setShape method inside the componentResized method, so that if the window is resized, the shape is recalculated as well.

Sample code to create a translucent, circular window is shown below:

import java.awt.Color;
import java.awt.GraphicsDevice;
import java.awt.GraphicsEnvironment;
import java.awt.GridBagLayout;
import java.awt.event.ComponentAdapter;
import java.awt.event.ComponentEvent;
import java.awt.geom.Ellipse2D;

import javax.swing.JFrame;
import javax.swing.JTextArea;
import javax.swing.SwingUtilities;

public class TranslucentCircularFrame extends JFrame {

   * Creates a frame containing a text area and a button. The frame has a
   * circular shape and a 75% opacity.
  public TranslucentCircularFrame() {
    super("Translucent Circular Frame");
    setLayout(new GridBagLayout());
    final JTextArea textArea = new JTextArea(3, 50);

    // set the window's shape in the componentResized method, so
    // that if the window is resized, the shape will be recalculated
    addComponentListener(new ComponentAdapter() {
      public void componentResized(ComponentEvent e) {
        setShape(new Ellipse2D.Double(0, 0, getWidth(), getHeight()));

    // make the window translucent

    setSize(250, 250);

  public static void main(String[] args) {

    // Create the GUI on the event-dispatching thread
    SwingUtilities.invokeLater(new Runnable() {
      public void run() {
        GraphicsEnvironment ge = GraphicsEnvironment

        // check if the OS supports translucency
        if (ge.getDefaultScreenDevice().isWindowTranslucencySupported(
            GraphicsDevice.WindowTranslucency.TRANSLUCENT)) {
          new TranslucentCircularFrame();


Related Whitepaper:

Java Essential Training

Author David Gassner explores Java SE (Standard Edition), the language used to build mobile apps for Android devices, enterprise server applications, and more!

The course demonstrates how to install both Java and the Eclipse IDE and dives into the particulars of programming. The course also explains the fundamentals of Java, from creating simple variables, assigning values, and declaring methods to working with strings, arrays, and subclasses; reading and writing to text files; and implementing object oriented programming concepts. Exercise files are included with the course.

Get it Now!  

One Response to "Java 7 Swing: Creating Translucent and Shaped Windows"

  1. Graphics in java swing is really complicated. This tutorial really helped, thanks.

Leave a Reply

× 8 = twenty four

Java Code Geeks and all content copyright © 2010-2014, Exelixis Media Ltd | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
All trademarks and registered trademarks appearing on Java Code Geeks are the property of their respective owners.
Java is a trademark or registered trademark of Oracle Corporation in the United States and other countries.
Java Code Geeks is not connected to Oracle Corporation and is not sponsored by Oracle Corporation.

Sign up for our Newsletter

20,709 insiders are already enjoying weekly updates and complimentary whitepapers! Join them now to gain exclusive access to the latest news in the Java world, as well as insights about Android, Scala, Groovy and other related technologies.

As an extra bonus, by joining you will get our brand new e-books, published by Java Code Geeks and their JCG partners for your reading pleasure! Enter your info and stay on top of things,

  • Fresh trends
  • Cases and examples
  • Research and insights
  • Two complimentary e-books