How to: Anchor and Dock Child Controls in a FlowLayoutPanel Control

The FlowLayoutPanel control supports the Anchor and Dock properties in its child controls.

To anchor and dock child controls in a FlowLayoutPanel control

  1. Create a FlowLayoutPanel control on your form.

  2. Set the Width of the FlowLayoutPanel control to 300, and set its FlowDirection to TopDown.

  3. Create two Button controls, and place them in the FlowLayoutPanel control.

  4. Set the Width of the first button to 200.

  5. Set the Dock property of the second button to Fill.

    Note

    The second button assumes the same width as the first button. It does not stretch across the width of the FlowLayoutPanel control.

  6. Set the Dock property of the second button to None. This causes the button to assume its original width.

  7. Set the Anchor property of the second button to Left, Right.

    Important

    The second button assumes the same width as the first button. It does not stretch across the width of the FlowLayoutPanel control. This is the general rule for anchoring and docking in the FlowLayoutPanel control: for vertical flow directions, the FlowLayoutPanel control calculates the width of an implied column from the widest child control in the column. All other controls in this column with Anchor or Dock properties are aligned or stretched to fit this implied column. The behavior works in a similar way for horizontal flow directions. The FlowLayoutPanel control calculates the height of an implied row from the tallest child control in the row, and all docked or anchored child controls in this row are aligned or sized to fit the implied row.

Example

The following illustration shows four buttons that are anchored and docked relative to the blue button in a FlowLayoutPanel. The FlowDirection is LeftToRight.

FlowLayoutPanel anchoring

The following illustration shows four buttons that are anchored and docked relative to the blue button in a FlowLayoutPanel. The FlowDirection is TopDown.

FlowLayoutPanel anchoring

The following code example demonstrates various Anchor property values for a Button control in a FlowLayoutPanel control.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Windows.Forms;


public class Form1 : Form
{
	public Form1()
	{
		InitializeComponent();
	}
	private FlowLayoutPanel flowLayoutPanel3;
	private Label label2;
	private Button button11;
	private Button button12;
	private Button button13;
	private Button button14;
	private Button button15;
	private FlowLayoutPanel flowLayoutPanel1;
	private Label label1;
	private Button button1;
	private Button button2;
	private Button button3;
	private Button button4;
	private Button button5;

	private System.ComponentModel.IContainer components = null;

	protected override void Dispose(bool disposing)
	{
		if (disposing && (components != null))
		{
			components.Dispose();
		}
		base.Dispose(disposing);
	}

	private void InitializeComponent()
	{
		this.flowLayoutPanel3 = new System.Windows.Forms.FlowLayoutPanel();
		this.label2 = new System.Windows.Forms.Label();
		this.button11 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
		this.button12 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
		this.button13 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
		this.button14 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
		this.button15 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
		this.flowLayoutPanel1 = new System.Windows.Forms.FlowLayoutPanel();
		this.label1 = new System.Windows.Forms.Label();
		this.button1 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
		this.button2 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
		this.button3 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
		this.button4 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
		this.button5 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.SuspendLayout();
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.SuspendLayout();
		this.SuspendLayout();
		// 
		// flowLayoutPanel3
		// 
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.Anchor = ((System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles)((((System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Top | System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Bottom)
					| System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Left)
					| System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Right)));
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.BorderStyle = System.Windows.Forms.BorderStyle.FixedSingle;
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(this.label2);
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(this.button11);
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(this.button12);
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(this.button13);
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(this.button14);
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(this.button15);
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(12, 12);
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.Name = "flowLayoutPanel3";
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(631, 100);
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.TabIndex = 2;
		// 
		// label2
		// 
		this.label2.Anchor = System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.None;
		this.label2.AutoSize = true;
		this.label2.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(3, 28);
		this.label2.Name = "label2";
		this.label2.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(138, 14);
		this.label2.TabIndex = 10;
		this.label2.Text = "FlowDirection=LeftToRight";
		// 
		// button11
		// 
		this.button11.Anchor = System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Bottom;
		this.button11.AutoSize = true;
		this.button11.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(147, 44);
		this.button11.Name = "button11";
		this.button11.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(86, 23);
		this.button11.TabIndex = 5;
		this.button11.Text = "Anchor=Bottom";
		// 
		// button12
		// 
		this.button12.Anchor = ((System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles)((System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Top | System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Bottom)));
		this.button12.AutoSize = true;
		this.button12.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(239, 3);
		this.button12.Name = "button12";
		this.button12.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(111, 64);
		this.button12.TabIndex = 6;
		this.button12.Text = "Anchor=Top, Bottom";
		// 
		// button13
		// 
		this.button13.Anchor = System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.None;
		this.button13.BackColor = System.Drawing.SystemColors.GradientActiveCaption;
		this.button13.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(356, 3);
		this.button13.Name = "button13";
		this.button13.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(75, 64);
		this.button13.TabIndex = 7;
		// 
		// button14
		// 
		this.button14.Dock = System.Windows.Forms.DockStyle.Bottom;
		this.button14.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(437, 44);
		this.button14.Name = "button14";
		this.button14.TabIndex = 8;
		this.button14.Text = "Dock=Bottom";
		// 
		// button15
		// 
		this.button15.Dock = System.Windows.Forms.DockStyle.Fill;
		this.button15.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(518, 3);
		this.button15.Name = "button15";
		this.button15.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(75, 64);
		this.button15.TabIndex = 9;
		this.button15.Text = "Dock=Fill";
		// 
		// flowLayoutPanel1
		// 
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.Anchor = ((System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles)(((System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Bottom | System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Left)
					| System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Right)));
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.BorderStyle = System.Windows.Forms.BorderStyle.FixedSingle;
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(this.label1);
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(this.button1);
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(this.button2);
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(this.button3);
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(this.button4);
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(this.button5);
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.FlowDirection = System.Windows.Forms.FlowDirection.TopDown;
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(12, 118);
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.Name = "flowLayoutPanel1";
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(200, 209);
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.TabIndex = 3;
		// 
		// label1
		// 
		this.label1.AutoSize = true;
		this.label1.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(3, 3);
		this.label1.Name = "label1";
		this.label1.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(128, 14);
		this.label1.TabIndex = 11;
		this.label1.Text = "FlowDirection=TopDown";
		// 
		// button1
		// 
		this.button1.Anchor = System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Right;
		this.button1.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(74, 23);
		this.button1.Name = "button1";
		this.button1.TabIndex = 5;
		this.button1.Text = "Anchor=Right";
		// 
		// button2
		// 
		this.button2.Anchor = ((System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles)((System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Left | System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Right)));
		this.button2.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(3, 52);
		this.button2.Name = "button2";
		this.button2.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(146, 23);
		this.button2.TabIndex = 6;
		this.button2.Text = "Anchor=Left, Right";
		// 
		// button3
		// 
		this.button3.BackColor = System.Drawing.SystemColors.GradientActiveCaption;
		this.button3.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(3, 81);
		this.button3.Name = "button3";
		this.button3.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(146, 23);
		this.button3.TabIndex = 7;
		// 
		// button4
		// 
		this.button4.Dock = System.Windows.Forms.DockStyle.Right;
		this.button4.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(74, 110);
		this.button4.Name = "button4";
		this.button4.TabIndex = 8;
		this.button4.Text = "Dock=Right";
		// 
		// button5
		// 
		this.button5.Dock = System.Windows.Forms.DockStyle.Fill;
		this.button5.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(3, 139);
		this.button5.Name = "button5";
		this.button5.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(146, 23);
		this.button5.TabIndex = 9;
		this.button5.Text = "Dock=Fill";
		// 
		// Form1
		// 
		this.ClientSize = new System.Drawing.Size(658, 341);
		this.Controls.Add(this.flowLayoutPanel1);
		this.Controls.Add(this.flowLayoutPanel3);
		this.Name = "Form1";
		this.Text = "Form1";
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.ResumeLayout(false);
		this.flowLayoutPanel3.PerformLayout();
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.ResumeLayout(false);
		this.flowLayoutPanel1.PerformLayout();
		this.ResumeLayout(false);

	}

	[STAThread]
	static void Main()
	{
		Application.EnableVisualStyles();
		Application.Run(new Form1());
	}
}
Imports System
Imports System.Collections.Generic
Imports System.ComponentModel
Imports System.Drawing
Imports System.Windows.Forms




Public Class Form1
   Inherits Form
   
   Public Sub New()
      InitializeComponent()
   End Sub 'New
   Private flowLayoutPanel3 As FlowLayoutPanel
   Private label2 As Label
   Private button11 As Button
   Private button12 As Button
   Private button13 As Button
   Private button14 As Button
   Private button15 As Button
   Private flowLayoutPanel1 As FlowLayoutPanel
   Private label1 As Label
   Private button1 As Button
   Private button2 As Button
   Private button3 As Button
   Private button4 As Button
   Private button5 As Button
   
   Private components As System.ComponentModel.IContainer = Nothing
   
   
   Protected Overrides Sub Dispose(disposing As Boolean)
      If disposing AndAlso (components IsNot Nothing) Then
         components.Dispose()
      End If
      MyBase.Dispose(disposing)
   End Sub 'Dispose
   
   
   Private Sub InitializeComponent()
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3 = New System.Windows.Forms.FlowLayoutPanel()
      Me.label2 = New System.Windows.Forms.Label()
      Me.button11 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
      Me.button12 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
      Me.button13 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
      Me.button14 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
      Me.button15 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1 = New System.Windows.Forms.FlowLayoutPanel()
      Me.label1 = New System.Windows.Forms.Label()
      Me.button1 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
      Me.button2 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
      Me.button3 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
      Me.button4 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
      Me.button5 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.SuspendLayout()
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.SuspendLayout()
      Me.SuspendLayout()
      ' 
      ' flowLayoutPanel3
      ' 
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.Anchor = CType(System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Top Or System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Bottom Or System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Left Or System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Right, System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.BorderStyle = System.Windows.Forms.BorderStyle.FixedSingle
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(Me.label2)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(Me.button11)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(Me.button12)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(Me.button13)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(Me.button14)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.Controls.Add(Me.button15)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(12, 12)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.Name = "flowLayoutPanel3"
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(631, 100)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.TabIndex = 2
      ' 
      ' label2
      ' 
      Me.label2.Anchor = System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.None
      Me.label2.AutoSize = True
      Me.label2.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(3, 28)
      Me.label2.Name = "label2"
      Me.label2.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(138, 14)
      Me.label2.TabIndex = 10
      Me.label2.Text = "FlowDirection=LeftToRight"
      ' 
      ' button11
      ' 
      Me.button11.Anchor = System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Bottom
      Me.button11.AutoSize = True
      Me.button11.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(147, 44)
      Me.button11.Name = "button11"
      Me.button11.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(86, 23)
      Me.button11.TabIndex = 5
      Me.button11.Text = "Anchor=Bottom"
      ' 
      ' button12
      ' 
      Me.button12.Anchor = CType(System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Top Or System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Bottom, System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles)
      Me.button12.AutoSize = True
      Me.button12.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(239, 3)
      Me.button12.Name = "button12"
      Me.button12.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(111, 64)
      Me.button12.TabIndex = 6
      Me.button12.Text = "Anchor=Top, Bottom"
      ' 
      ' button13
      ' 
      Me.button13.Anchor = System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.None
      Me.button13.BackColor = System.Drawing.SystemColors.GradientActiveCaption
      Me.button13.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(356, 3)
      Me.button13.Name = "button13"
      Me.button13.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(75, 64)
      Me.button13.TabIndex = 7
      ' 
      ' button14
      ' 
      Me.button14.Dock = System.Windows.Forms.DockStyle.Bottom
      Me.button14.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(437, 44)
      Me.button14.Name = "button14"
      Me.button14.TabIndex = 8
      Me.button14.Text = "Dock=Bottom"
      ' 
      ' button15
      ' 
      Me.button15.Dock = System.Windows.Forms.DockStyle.Fill
      Me.button15.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(518, 3)
      Me.button15.Name = "button15"
      Me.button15.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(75, 64)
      Me.button15.TabIndex = 9
      Me.button15.Text = "Dock=Fill"
      ' 
      ' flowLayoutPanel1
      ' 
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.Anchor = CType(System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Bottom Or System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Left Or System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Right, System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.BorderStyle = System.Windows.Forms.BorderStyle.FixedSingle
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(Me.label1)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(Me.button1)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(Me.button2)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(Me.button3)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(Me.button4)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.Controls.Add(Me.button5)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.FlowDirection = System.Windows.Forms.FlowDirection.TopDown
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(12, 118)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.Name = "flowLayoutPanel1"
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(200, 209)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.TabIndex = 3
      ' 
      ' label1
      ' 
      Me.label1.AutoSize = True
      Me.label1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(3, 3)
      Me.label1.Name = "label1"
      Me.label1.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(128, 14)
      Me.label1.TabIndex = 11
      Me.label1.Text = "FlowDirection=TopDown"
      ' 
      ' button1
      ' 
      Me.button1.Anchor = System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Right
      Me.button1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(74, 23)
      Me.button1.Name = "button1"
      Me.button1.TabIndex = 5
      Me.button1.Text = "Anchor=Right"
      ' 
      ' button2
      ' 
      Me.button2.Anchor = CType(System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Left Or System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles.Right, System.Windows.Forms.AnchorStyles)
      Me.button2.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(3, 52)
      Me.button2.Name = "button2"
      Me.button2.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(146, 23)
      Me.button2.TabIndex = 6
      Me.button2.Text = "Anchor=Left, Right"
      ' 
      ' button3
      ' 
      Me.button3.BackColor = System.Drawing.SystemColors.GradientActiveCaption
      Me.button3.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(3, 81)
      Me.button3.Name = "button3"
      Me.button3.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(146, 23)
      Me.button3.TabIndex = 7
      ' 
      ' button4
      ' 
      Me.button4.Dock = System.Windows.Forms.DockStyle.Right
      Me.button4.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(74, 110)
      Me.button4.Name = "button4"
      Me.button4.TabIndex = 8
      Me.button4.Text = "Dock=Right"
      ' 
      ' button5
      ' 
      Me.button5.Dock = System.Windows.Forms.DockStyle.Fill
      Me.button5.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(3, 139)
      Me.button5.Name = "button5"
      Me.button5.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(146, 23)
      Me.button5.TabIndex = 9
      Me.button5.Text = "Dock=Fill"
      ' 
      ' Form1
      ' 
      Me.ClientSize = New System.Drawing.Size(658, 341)
      Me.Controls.Add(flowLayoutPanel1)
      Me.Controls.Add(flowLayoutPanel3)
      Me.Name = "Form1"
      Me.Text = "Form1"
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.ResumeLayout(False)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel3.PerformLayout()
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.ResumeLayout(False)
      Me.flowLayoutPanel1.PerformLayout()
      Me.ResumeLayout(False)
   End Sub 'InitializeComponent
    
   
   <STAThread()>  _
   Shared Sub Main()
      Application.EnableVisualStyles()
      Application.Run(New Form1())
   End Sub 'Main
End Class 'Form1

Compiling the Code

This example requires:

  • References to the System, System.Data, System.Drawing and System.Windows.Forms assemblies.

For information about building this example from the command line for Visual Basic or Visual C#, see Building from the Command Line or Command-line Building With csc.exe. You can also build this example in Visual Studio by pasting the code into a new project. Also see How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio.

See Also

FlowLayoutPanel
FlowLayoutPanel Control Overview