Dynamic Icons

Icons are under no obligation to paint themselves the same way every time they are displayed. It’s perfectly reasonable (and often quite useful) to have an icon that uses some sort of state information to determine how to display itself. In the next example, we create two sliders that can be used to change the width and height of a dynamic icon:

import javax.swing.*;
import javax.swing.event.*;
import java.awt.*;

// Example of an icon that changes form.
public class DynamicIconExample {
	public static void main(String[] args) {

		// Create a couple of sliders to control the icon size.
		final JSlider width = new JSlider(JSlider.HORIZONTAL, 1, 150, 75);
		final JSlider height = new JSlider(JSlider.VERTICAL, 1, 150, 75);

		// A little icon class that uses the current slider values
		class DynamicIcon implements Icon {
			public int getIconWidth() {
				return width.getValue();

			public int getIconHeight() {
				return height.getValue();

			public void paintIcon(Component c, Graphics g, int x, int y) {
				g.fill3DRect(x, y, getIconWidth(), getIconHeight(), true);
		Icon icon = new DynamicIcon();
		final JLabel dynamicLabel = new JLabel(icon);

		// A listener to repaint the icon when sliders are adjusted
		class Updater implements ChangeListener {
			public void stateChanged(ChangeEvent ev) {
		Updater updater = new Updater();


		// Lay it all out.
		JFrame f = new JFrame();

		Container c = f.getContentPane();
		c.setLayout(new BorderLayout());
		c.add(width, BorderLayout.NORTH);
		c.add(height, BorderLayout.WEST);
		c.add(dynamicLabel, BorderLayout.CENTER);
		f.setSize(210, 210);

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