LayoutEngine Class

Note: This class is new in the .NET Framework version 2.0.

Provides the base class for implementing layout engines.

Namespace: System.Windows.Forms.Layout
Assembly: System.Windows.Forms (in

public abstract class LayoutEngine
public abstract class LayoutEngine
public abstract class LayoutEngine

Use the LayoutEngine class when you want to create custom layout behavior at run time. Derive your own class from the LayoutEngine class and override the Layout method to define your custom layout behavior.

The following code example demonstrates the use of the LayoutEngine class to implement custom layout behavior.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Windows.Forms.Layout;

// This class demonstrates a simple custom layout panel.
// It overrides the LayoutEngine property of the Panel
// control to provide a custom layout engine. 
public class DemoFlowPanel : Panel
    private DemoFlowLayout layoutEngine;

    public DemoFlowPanel()

    public override LayoutEngine LayoutEngine
            if (layoutEngine == null)
                layoutEngine = new DemoFlowLayout();

            return layoutEngine;

// This class demonstrates a simple custom layout engine.
public class DemoFlowLayout : LayoutEngine
    public override bool Layout(
        object container,
        LayoutEventArgs layoutEventArgs)
        Control parent = container as Control;

        // Use DisplayRectangle so that parent.Padding is honored.
        Rectangle parentDisplayRectangle = parent.DisplayRectangle;
        Point nextControlLocation = parentDisplayRectangle.Location;

        foreach (Control c in parent.Controls)
            // Only apply layout to visible controls.
            if (!c.Visible)

            // Respect the margin of the control:
            // shift over the left and the top.
            nextControlLocation.Offset(c.Margin.Left, c.Margin.Top);

            // Set the location of the control.
            c.Location = nextControlLocation;

            // Set the autosized controls to their 
            // autosized heights.
            if (c.AutoSize)
                c.Size = c.GetPreferredSize(parentDisplayRectangle.Size);

            // Move X back to the display rectangle origin.
            nextControlLocation.X = parentDisplayRectangle.X;

            // Increment Y by the height of the control 
            // and the bottom margin.
            nextControlLocation.Y += c.Height + c.Margin.Bottom;

        // Optional: Return whether or not the container's 
        // parent should perform layout as a result of this 
        // layout. Some layout engines return the value of 
        // the container's AutoSize property.

        return false;


Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 98, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 2.0

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