panel doesn't want to scroll

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I have this piece of code (a panel that contains other JComponents, in this case JButtons) and a problem.

import javax.swing.*;
import javax.swing.border.*;
import java.awt.*;
import java.util.*;

public class JTagPanelTest extends JPanel{

    public JTagPanelTest(){
        setLayout(new FlowLayout(FlowLayout.LEADING, 2, 0));

    public void initializeTags(List<String> tags){
        tags.forEach(tag -> add(new JButton(tag)));

    public static void main(String[] args){
        EventQueue.invokeLater(() -> {
                String lookAndFeelName = UIManager.getSystemLookAndFeelClassName();
            catch(Exception e){

            JTagPanelTest test = new JTagPanelTest();
            test.initializeTags(Arrays.asList("one", "two", "three", "four", "five", "six", "seven", "eight", "nine", "ten",
                "012", "qwer", "z<xc", "rty", "poiu", "gfj", "zxcv", "mjnb", "mko", "nij", "bhu"));
            JScrollPane scrollPane = new JScrollPane(test);
            test.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(200, 100));
//          scrollPane.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(200, 180));
            JFrame frame = new JFrame("Test");
            frame.getContentPane().add(scrollPane, BorderLayout.CENTER);
            frame.setSize(new Dimension(200, 180));


I though it was enough to put my JTagPanelTest inside a JScrollPane to make it scrolling but it's not so, and I really don't know why.

It was of no use calculating the final height of the internal panel, as it results 0.

Note that the number of JButtons are not fixed, so the panel has to be scrollable in order to show all the "buttons".

Is there someone who can make me aware of my mistake?

Thank you

You tried the right approach by setting preferred size on scrollPane.

So revert to that change. The reason it is not scrolling is because your content is not added to align vertically. Set a layout the helps add items vertically.

For example:

test.setLayout(new BoxLayout(test, BoxLayout.Y_AXIS));
//test.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(200, 100));
scrollPane.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(200, 180));

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I understand that you want the buttons to wrap, hence you add them to a JPanel that uses the FlowLayout layout manager. I also understand that you want the JPanel containing those buttons to scroll. I achieved this by setting the preferred sizes of the JScrollPane and the JPanel containing the buttons, as shown in the below code.

import java.awt.Dimension;
import java.awt.EventQueue;
import java.util.Arrays;

import javax.swing.JButton;
import javax.swing.JFrame;
import javax.swing.JPanel;
import javax.swing.JScrollPane;
import javax.swing.WindowConstants;

public class BtnScrl implements Runnable {
    public void run() {

    private void showGui() {
        JFrame frame = new JFrame("BtnScrl");

    private JScrollPane createButtons() {
        JPanel panel = new JPanel();
        panel.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(400, 290));
        for (String tag : Arrays.asList("one",
                                        "bhu")) {
            panel.add(new JButton(tag));
        JScrollPane scrollPane = new JScrollPane(panel);
        scrollPane.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(400, 100));
        return scrollPane;

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        EventQueue.invokeLater(new BtnScrl());

Here is a screen capture of the running app.

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I've also found this code that resolves the problem of vertical stacked components. And this one.

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boxsizer - Panel doesn't expand in wxPython, The line you need to modify is: sizer_h.Add(st1, 1, wx.EXPAND). Should be: sizer_h.Add(panel1, 1, wx.EXPAND). Because you need to size the panel1 and not�

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  • Note all Swing components should be created on the Event Dispatch Thread (EDT). So all the code, not just the setVisible(...) should be part of the invokeLater(...)
  • This test.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(200, 100)); artificially constrains the test JPanel's size. You most definitely do not want to do this.
  • If I remove that line the buttons does not wraps at the edge of the panel
  • thank you so much!! ... but in this manner all the buttons appears in column... is there a way to have a list of buttons that wraps at the right edge of the panel and possibly extends vertically?
  • After a few tries with your code I came to the conclusion that the scrollpane scrolls because you added the line panel.setPreferredSize(new Dimension(400, 290));, and I don't know the height of the overall panel beforehand.
  • @maurotrev You can calculate the preferred size based on the sizes of the buttons. Or you can set an arbitrary size which is what JTable does. These are not the only options available. If there are details you wish to add to your question, you can. All you need to do is edit your question. Note that I did write in my answer that I set the preferred sizes of both the JPanel and the JScrollPane.