There are many ways to load resource file in java app. What sun recommended is using Class.getResource("resource_name") or Class.getResourceAsStream("resource_name") then you will get URL and InputStream respectively. If resource_name is specified without "/", it will be prepend with Class package. So resource file must be in same place[folder structure] as the Class. What I love to do is call getResource() with "/" and put resource file at the root of package. This way i can have separate resource folder. below is in Eclipse,
1. From Package explorer right click src folder->click import
2. In import dialog, Choose General->File System ->next
3. from directory:->Browse to your resource folder.
4. to folder:-> I add "resource" as a folder name under src folder. then click "Finish".
In the code, load resource with