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Event Handling in Applets

An event in a java program is generated upon clicking a button, typing in a textfield, checking a checkbox or radio box, selecting an item in a drop down list etc. In this article we will understand how such events are handled, when generated from within an applet window.

Note :

In order to handle such events, we need to register our program to listen such events when they are generated by our program, during its execution.

How do we register our program to listen events generated by it?

To listen events, we must implement interfaces related to the kind of event that is generated by our program. For example, if our program has a button in it and in order to listen a button click event, we must implement ActionListener interface and implement its method actionPerformed(), which gives us the name of the button that was clicked, that lead to a button click event.

Event handling in Applet

In the forthcoming code, we have created an applet named Applet2 by extending the Applet class, besides this we have also implemented -
//Evening handling in an applet 

import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import java.applet.*;

<applet code="Applet2" width=250 height=200>

public class Applet2 extends Applet implements ActionListener, ItemListener
Label label1, label2, label3; 
TextField tf1, tf2, tf3;
Checkbox ck1, ck2;
CheckboxGroup cb;

public void init()
System.out.println("Initializing an applet");

label1 = new Label("Enter your name");
tf1= new TextField(10);

label2 = new Label("Enter your city");
tf2= new TextField(10);

label3 = new Label("Gender");

cb= new CheckboxGroup();
ck1 = new Checkbox("Male",cb,false);
ck2 = new Checkbox("Female",cb,false);

add(label1);			//adding first label to the applet window.
add(tf1);			//adding first textfield to the applet window.

add(label2);			//adding second label to the applet window.
add(tf2);			//adding second textfield to the applet window.

add(label3);			//adding third label to the applet window.
add(ck1);			//adding the first checkbox to the applet window
add(ck2);			//adding the second checkbox to applet window

tf1.addActionListener(this); 	//Applet2 class registering to listen to textfield events
tf2.addActionListener(this); 	//Applet2 class registering to listen to textfield events
ck1.addItemListener(this);	//Applet2 class registering to listen to checkbox events
ck2.addItemListener(this);	//Applet2 class registering to listen to checkbox events

public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) //listening to textfields events when enter is pressed in a textField
repaint();	//repaint() calls paint() method when a button click event is generated.

public void itemStateChanged(ItemEvent ie) //Listening to checkboxes when a checkbox is selected
repaint();	//repaint() calls paint() method when a checkbox is checked or unchecked.

public void paint(Graphics g)
g.drawString("Your name is "+ tf1.getText(),  10, 150 );
g.drawString("Your city is "+ tf2.getText(), 10,170 );
g.drawString("Your gender is "+ cb.getSelectedCheckbox().getLabel(), 10,190);


In order to run our applet using appletviewer, type the following command at command prompt-

appletviewer Applet2.java

Where Applet2.java is the name of java file that contains the code of an applet. Right after running the applet program using appletviewer a new applet window is displayed to us -

Note : For an applet class that extends AWT's Applet class, the way elements like textfield, buttons, checksboxes are added to this applet is performed by using default layout manager, i.e. FlowLayout.

Program Analysis

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