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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 = 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 ();


<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>

For the complete sample, see StackPanel and DockPanel Comparison Sample.

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