How to: Choose Between StackPanel and DockPanel

This example shows how to choose between using a StackPanel or a DockPanel when you stack content in a Panel.

Example

Although you can use either DockPanel or StackPanel to stack child elements, the two controls do not always produce the same results. For example, the order that you place child elements can affect the size of child elements in a DockPanel but not in a StackPanel. This different behavior occurs because StackPanel measures in the direction of stacking at Double.PositiveInfinity; however, DockPanel measures only the available size.

The following example demonstrates this key difference between DockPanel and StackPanel.


// Create the application's main window
mainWindow = gcnew Window();
mainWindow->Title = "StackPanel vs. DockPanel";

// Add root Grid
myGrid = gcnew Grid();
myGrid->Width = 175;
myGrid->Height = 150;
RowDefinition^ myRowDef1 = gcnew RowDefinition();
RowDefinition^ myRowDef2 = gcnew RowDefinition();
myGrid->RowDefinitions->Add(myRowDef1);
myGrid->RowDefinitions->Add(myRowDef2);

// Define the DockPanel
myDockPanel = gcnew DockPanel();
Grid::SetRow(myDockPanel, 0);

//Define an Image and Source
Image^ myImage = gcnew Image();
BitmapImage^ bi = gcnew BitmapImage();
bi->BeginInit();
bi->UriSource = gcnew System::Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind::Relative);
bi->EndInit();
myImage->Source = bi;

Image^ myImage2 = gcnew Image();
BitmapImage^ bi2 = gcnew BitmapImage();
bi2->BeginInit();
bi2->UriSource = gcnew System::Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind::Relative);
bi2->EndInit();
myImage2->Source = bi2;

Image^ myImage3 = gcnew Image();
BitmapImage^ bi3 = gcnew BitmapImage();
bi3->BeginInit();
bi3->UriSource = gcnew System::Uri("smiley_stackpanel.PNG", UriKind::Relative);
bi3->EndInit();
myImage3->Stretch = Stretch::Fill;
myImage3->Source = bi3;

// Add the images to the parent DockPanel
myDockPanel->Children->Add(myImage);
myDockPanel->Children->Add(myImage2);
myDockPanel->Children->Add(myImage3);

//Define a StackPanel
myStackPanel = gcnew StackPanel();
myStackPanel->Orientation = Orientation::Horizontal;
Grid::SetRow(myStackPanel, 1);

Image^ myImage4 = gcnew Image();
BitmapImage^ bi4 = gcnew BitmapImage();
bi4->BeginInit();
bi4->UriSource = gcnew System::Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind::Relative);
bi4->EndInit();
myImage4->Source = bi4;

Image^ myImage5 = gcnew Image();
BitmapImage^ bi5 = gcnew BitmapImage();
bi5->BeginInit();
bi5->UriSource = gcnew System::Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind::Relative);
bi5->EndInit();
myImage5->Source = bi5;

Image^ myImage6 = gcnew Image();
BitmapImage^ bi6 = gcnew BitmapImage();
bi6->BeginInit();
bi6->UriSource = gcnew System::Uri("smiley_stackpanel.PNG", UriKind::Relative);
bi6->EndInit();
myImage6->Stretch = Stretch::Fill;
myImage6->Source = bi6;

// Add the images to the parent StackPanel
myStackPanel->Children->Add(myImage4);
myStackPanel->Children->Add(myImage5);
myStackPanel->Children->Add(myImage6);

// Add the layout panels as children of the Grid
myGrid->Children->Add(myDockPanel);
myGrid->Children->Add(myStackPanel);

// Add the Grid as the Content of the Parent Window Object
mainWindow->Content = myGrid;
mainWindow->Show();


// Create the application's main window
mainWindow = new Window ();
mainWindow.Title = "StackPanel vs. DockPanel";

// Add root Grid
myGrid = new Grid();
myGrid.Width = 175;
myGrid.Height = 150;
RowDefinition myRowDef1 = new RowDefinition();
RowDefinition myRowDef2 = new RowDefinition();
myGrid.RowDefinitions.Add(myRowDef1);
myGrid.RowDefinitions.Add(myRowDef2);

// Define the DockPanel
myDockPanel = new DockPanel();
Grid.SetRow(myDockPanel, 0);

//Define an Image and Source
Image myImage = new Image();
BitmapImage bi = new BitmapImage();
bi.BeginInit();
bi.UriSource = new Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind.Relative);
bi.EndInit();
myImage.Source = bi;

Image myImage2 = new Image();
BitmapImage bi2 = new BitmapImage();
bi2.BeginInit();
bi2.UriSource = new Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind.Relative);
bi2.EndInit();
myImage2.Source = bi2;

Image myImage3 = new Image();
BitmapImage bi3 = new BitmapImage();
bi3.BeginInit();
bi3.UriSource = new Uri("smiley_stackpanel.PNG", UriKind.Relative);
bi3.EndInit();
myImage3.Stretch = Stretch.Fill;
myImage3.Source = bi3;

// Add the images to the parent DockPanel
myDockPanel.Children.Add(myImage);
myDockPanel.Children.Add(myImage2);
myDockPanel.Children.Add(myImage3);

//Define a StackPanel
myStackPanel = new StackPanel();
myStackPanel.Orientation = Orientation.Horizontal;
Grid.SetRow(myStackPanel, 1);

Image myImage4 = new Image();
BitmapImage bi4 = new BitmapImage();
bi4.BeginInit();
bi4.UriSource = new Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind.Relative);
bi4.EndInit();
myImage4.Source = bi4;

Image myImage5 = new Image();
BitmapImage bi5 = new BitmapImage();
bi5.BeginInit();
bi5.UriSource = new Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind.Relative);
bi5.EndInit();
myImage5.Source = bi5;

Image myImage6 = new Image();
BitmapImage bi6 = new BitmapImage();
bi6.BeginInit();
bi6.UriSource = new Uri("smiley_stackpanel.PNG", UriKind.Relative);
bi6.EndInit();
myImage6.Stretch = Stretch.Fill;
myImage6.Source = bi6;

// Add the images to the parent StackPanel
myStackPanel.Children.Add(myImage4);
myStackPanel.Children.Add(myImage5);
myStackPanel.Children.Add(myImage6);

// Add the layout panels as children of the Grid
myGrid.Children.Add(myDockPanel);
myGrid.Children.Add(myStackPanel);

// Add the Grid as the Content of the Parent Window Object
mainWindow.Content = myGrid;
mainWindow.Show ();


'Add root Grid
Dim myGrid As New Grid
myGrid.Width = 175
myGrid.Height = 150
Dim myRowDef1 As New RowDefinition
Dim myRowDef2 As New RowDefinition
myGrid.RowDefinitions.Add(myRowDef1)
myGrid.RowDefinitions.Add(myRowDef2)

'Define the DockPanel
Dim myDockPanel As New DockPanel
Grid.SetRow(myDockPanel, 0)

'Define an Image and Source.
Dim myImage As New Image
Dim bi As New BitmapImage
bi.BeginInit()
bi.UriSource = New Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind.Relative)
bi.EndInit()
myImage.Source = bi

Dim myImage2 As New Image
Dim bi2 As New BitmapImage
bi2.BeginInit()
bi2.UriSource = New Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind.Relative)
bi2.EndInit()
myImage2.Source = bi2

Dim myImage3 As New Image
Dim bi3 As New BitmapImage
bi3.BeginInit()
bi3.UriSource = New Uri("smiley_stackpanel.PNG", UriKind.Relative)
bi3.EndInit()
myImage3.Stretch = Stretch.Fill
myImage3.Source = bi3

'Add the images to the parent DockPanel.
myDockPanel.Children.Add(myImage)
myDockPanel.Children.Add(myImage2)
myDockPanel.Children.Add(myImage3)

'Define a StackPanel.
Dim myStackPanel As New StackPanel
myStackPanel.Orientation = Orientation.Horizontal
Grid.SetRow(myStackPanel, 1)

Dim myImage4 As New Image
Dim bi4 As New BitmapImage
bi4.BeginInit()
bi4.UriSource = New Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind.Relative)
bi4.EndInit()
myImage4.Source = bi4

Dim myImage5 As New Image
Dim bi5 As New BitmapImage
bi5.BeginInit()
bi5.UriSource = New Uri("smiley_stackpanel.png", UriKind.Relative)
bi5.EndInit()
myImage5.Source = bi5

Dim myImage6 As New Image
Dim bi6 As New BitmapImage
bi6.BeginInit()
bi6.UriSource = New Uri("smiley_stackpanel.PNG", UriKind.Relative)
bi6.EndInit()
myImage6.Stretch = Stretch.Fill
myImage6.Source = bi6

'Add the images to the parent StackPanel.
myStackPanel.Children.Add(myImage4)
myStackPanel.Children.Add(myImage5)
myStackPanel.Children.Add(myImage6)

'Add the layout panels as children of the Grid
myGrid.Children.Add(myDockPanel)
myGrid.Children.Add(myStackPanel)

<Page xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
      WindowTitle="StackPanel vs. DockPanel">
  <Grid Width="175" Height="150">
    <Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
      <ColumnDefinition />
    </Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
    <Grid.RowDefinitions>
      <RowDefinition />
      <RowDefinition />
    </Grid.RowDefinitions>
    
    <DockPanel Grid.Column="0" Grid.Row="0">
      <Image Source="smiley_stackpanel.png" />
      <Image Source="smiley_stackpanel.png" />
      <Image Source="smiley_stackpanel.png" Stretch="Fill"/>
    </DockPanel>

    <StackPanel Grid.Column="0" Grid.Row="1"  Orientation="Horizontal">
      <Image Source="smiley_stackpanel.png" />
      <Image Source="smiley_stackpanel.png" />
      <Image Source="smiley_stackpanel.png" Stretch="Fill"/>
    </StackPanel>
    </Grid>
</Page>

See Also

StackPanel
DockPanel
Panels Overview