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WPF : WrapPanel control

Tutorial by:Manisha Dubey      Date: 2016-07-11 04:37:05

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The WrapPanel will position each of its child controls next to the other, horizontally (default) or vertically, until there is no more room, where it will wrap to the next line and then continue. Use it when you want a vertical or horizontal list controls that automatically wraps when there's no more room.

When the WrapPanel uses the Horizontal orientation, the child controls will be given the same height, based on the tallest item. When the WrapPanel is the Vertical orientation, the child controls will be given the same width, based on the widest item.

In the first example, we'll check out a WrapPanel with the default (Horizontal) orientation:

<Window x:Class="WpfTutorialSamples.Panels.WrapPanel"
        xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
        xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
        Title="WrapPanel" Height="300" Width="300">
	<WrapPanel>
		<Button>Test button 1</Button>
		<Button>Test button 2</Button>
		<Button>Test button 3</Button>
		<Button Height="40">Test button 4</Button>
		<Button>Test button 5</Button>
		<Button>Test button 6</Button>
	</WrapPanel>
</Window>
WrapPanel in Horizontal mode

Notice how I set a specific height on one of the buttons in the second row. In the resulting screenshot, you will see that this causes the entire row of buttons to have the same height instead of the height required, as seen on the first row. You will also notice that the panel does exactly what the name implies: It wraps the content when it can't fit any more of it in. In this case, the fourth button couldn't fit in on the first line, so it automatically wraps to the next line.

Should you make the window, and thereby the available space, smaller, you will see how the panel immediately adjusts to it:

WrapPanel in Horizontal mode

All of this behavior is also true when you set the Orientation to Vertical. Here's the exact same example as before, but with a Vertical WrapPanel:

<Window x:Class="WpfTutorialSamples.Panels.WrapPanel"
        xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
        xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
        Title="WrapPanel" Height="120" Width="300">
	<WrapPanel Orientation="Vertical">
		<Button>Test button 1</Button>
		<Button>Test button 2</Button>
		<Button>Test button 3</Button>
		<Button Width="140">Test button 4</Button>
		<Button>Test button 5</Button>
		<Button>Test button 6</Button>
	</WrapPanel>
</Window>
WrapPanel in Vertical mode

You can see how the buttons go vertical instead of horizontal, before they wrap because they reach the bottom of the window. In this case, I gave a wider width to the fourth button, and you will see that the buttons in the same column also gets the same width, just like we saw with the button height in the Horizontal example.

Please be aware that while the Horizontal WrapPanel will match the height in the same row and the Vertical WrapPanel will match the width in the same column, height is not matched in a Vertical WrapPanel and width is not matched in a Horizontal WrapPanel. Take a look in this example, which is the Vertical WrapPanel but where the fourth button gets a custom width AND height:

<Button Width="140" Height="44">Test button 4</Button>

It will look like this:

WrapPanel in Vertical mode with specific width/heights

Notice how button 5 only uses the width - it doesn't care about the height, although it causes the sixth button to be pushed to a new column.



StackPanel control

A simple StackPanel in Vertical mode

The first thing you should notice is how the StackPanel doesn't really care whether or not there's enough room for the content. It doesn't wrap the content in any way and it doesn't automatically provide you with the ability to scroll (you can use a ScrollViewer control for that though - more on that in a later chapter).

You might also notice that the default orientation of the StackPanel is Vertical, unlike the WrapPanel where the default orientation is Horizontal. But just like for the WrapPanel, this can easily be changed, using the Orientation property:

<StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">

A simple StackPanel in Horizontal mode

Another thing you will likely notice is that the StackPanel stretches its child control by default. On a vertically aligned StackPanel, like the one in the first example, all child controls get stretched horizontally. On a horizontally aligned StackPanel, all child controls get stretched vertically, as seen above. The StackPanel does this by setting the HorizontalAlignment or VerticalAlignment property on its child controls to Stretch, but you can easily override this if you want to. Have a look at the next example, where we use the same markup as we did in the previous example, but this time we assign values to the VerticalAlignment property for all the child controls:

<Window x:Class="WpfTutorialSamples.Panels.StackPanel"
        xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
        xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
        Title="StackPanel" Height="160" Width="300">
	<StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
		<Button VerticalAlignment="Top">Button 1</Button>
		<Button VerticalAlignment="Center">Button 2</Button>
		<Button VerticalAlignment="Bottom">Button 3</Button>
		<Button VerticalAlignment="Bottom">Button 4</Button>
		<Button VerticalAlignment="Center">Button 5</Button>
		<Button VerticalAlignment="Top">Button 6</Button>
	</StackPanel>
</Window>

A StackPanel in Vertical mode with differently aligned controls

We use the Top, Center and Bottom values to place the buttons in a nice pattern, just for kicks. The same can of course be done for a vertically aligned StackPanel, where you would use the HorizontalAlignment on the child controls:

<Window x:Class="WpfTutorialSamples.Panels.StackPanel"
        xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
        xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
        Title="StackPanel" Height="160" Width="300">
	<StackPanel Orientation="Vertical">
		<Button HorizontalAlignment="Left">Button 1</Button>
		<Button HorizontalAlignment="Center">Button 2</Button>
		<Button HorizontalAlignment="Right">Button 3</Button>
		<Button HorizontalAlignment="Right">Button 4</Button>
		<Button HorizontalAlignment="Center">Button 5</Button>
		<Button HorizontalAlignment="Left">Button 6</Button>
	</StackPanel>
</Window>

A StackPanel in Horizontal mode with differently aligned controls

As you can see, the controls still go from top to bottom, but instead of having the same width, each control is aligned to the left, the right or center.

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