This week's book giveaway is in the OCPJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide and have Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates on-line! See this thread for details.
Sounds like you are looking for the FontMetrics class in the java.awt package. Thats the class which can tell you such things as the display size of a string in pixels and the other data you need to exactly position text. Bill