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Changing the Look & Feel of Your Swing Application

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Adam Bien has been running a great series entitled "Swing Looks Great", where he highlights some of the awesome Swing look & feels that are available to breathe new life into your Java application. It's been a while since I've used Swing for an application, but the variety of L&F's available now mean that it stays relevant.

Here's a rundown of some of the best examples that Adam has provided so far.

Do you know of any other killer look & feels available?


Ivo Tripunovic replied on Wed, 2010/12/08 - 4:21am

Hi, JGoodies (http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/looks/) have some nice Plastic L&F, among others included in their "looks library". :)

Wong Qil replied on Wed, 2010/12/08 - 4:43am

jide commons, include some windows like LAFs.

Gérald Quintana replied on Wed, 2010/12/08 - 4:58am

Napkin is funny for demos and prototypes: http://napkinlaf.sourceforge.net/

Synthetica looks to similar to Flex default skin.

Nimbus is designed for:

  • big screens: lot of space is wasted (whitespace in tabs for ex)
  • recent hardware: gradients are expensive 

Andrew McVeigh replied on Wed, 2010/12/08 - 7:47am

I use a commercial product called jtattoo - I find it excellent, here are some screenshots: http://www.jtattoo.net/ScreenShots.html.

it has about 10 different themes and subthemes and the guy who makes (I can't remember his name!) it has been very responsive to my support queries.  It's also ridiculously cheap for the quality.


Carlos Hoces replied on Wed, 2010/12/08 - 8:05am

From the main page at JTattoo site:

  • for private use
  • for freeware
  • royalty

So it's no so commercial in terms as it's usually understood. There are subtile differences between commercial and free versions, like putting own logo and themes usage; but all L&F are totally usable in free versions.
The source code is also available for download.

I would rather say this is an Open Source L&F, with some minor added features for commercial purchase.

Andrew McVeigh replied on Wed, 2010/12/08 - 9:42am in response to: Carlos Hoces

The source code is also available for download.

That's interesting, i hadn't seen that.

It is still commercial though.  Looking at the source code, the headers have "Copyright 2005 MH-Software-Entwicklung. All rights reserved. * Use is subject to license terms".

And the download page says: "Feel free to use and redistribute JTattoo for non commercial use".

Then again, it's pretty cheap and he is a decent fellow who provides good support...  This LnF package is first rate and has never given me any layout or other problems even in complex GUIs.  It's also very quick.


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