Adding blank space between elements of a JToolBar

Set an empty border on your JButtons that you add to your JToolBar!

import javax.swing.border.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
public class Main extends JFrame {
   public Main() {
      super("JToolBar example");
      final JTextArea textArea = new JTextArea(5, 30);
      JToolBar toolBar = new JToolBar();
      JButton gifButton = new JButton(new ImageIcon("gifIcon.gif"));
      JButton jpgButton = new JButton(new ImageIcon("jpgIcon.gif"));
      JButton tiffButton = new JButton(new ImageIcon("tiffIcon.gif"));
      gifButton.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
         public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
            textArea.append("gifButton clicked!n");
      jpgButton.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
         public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
            textArea.append("jpgButton clicked!n");
      tiffButton.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
         public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
            textArea.append("tiffButton clicked!n");
      gifButton.setBorder(new EmptyBorder(new Insets(10,10,10,1)));
      jpgButton.setBorder(new EmptyBorder(new Insets(10,10,10,10)));
      tiffButton.setBorder(new EmptyBorder(new Insets(10,10,10,10)));
      addWindowListener(new WindowAdapter() {
         public void windowClosing(WindowEvent e) {
      getContentPane().setLayout(new BorderLayout());
      getContentPane().add(BorderLayout.NORTH, toolBar);
      getContentPane().add(BorderLayout.CENTER, new JScrollPane(textArea));
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      Main main = new Main();
      main.setSize(300, 300);

images used in this app: