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Posted 9 Jun 2009
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3 Ways of Applying Layouts using Silverlight

, 8 Oct 2009
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3 ways of applying layouts using Silverlight

Update: Other article links are moved towards the bottom.

Table of Contents


Perhaps this article is very basic. But I have seen many Silverlight developers struggling with layout controls and objects in Silverlight. In this section, we will quickly walk through 3 different methods of layout for Silverlight. In this article, we will go through each of these layout implementations and make a simple sample for the same.

I have collected around 400 FAQ questions and answers in WCF, WPF, WWF, SharePoint, design patterns, UML, etc. Feel free to download these FAQ PDFs from my site.

Canvas, Grid and StackPanel

There are three ways provided by Silverlight for layout management - Canvas, Grid and Stack panel. Each of these methodologies fit into different situations as per layout needs. All these layout controls inherit from Panel class. In the next sections, we will go through each of them to understand how they work.

Canvas – Absolute Positioning

Canvas is the simplest methodology for layout management. It supports absolute positioning using ‘X’ and ‘Y’ coordinates. ‘Canvas.Left’ helps to specify the X co-ordinate while ‘Canvas.Top’ helps to provide the ‘Y’ coordinates.

Below is a simple code snippet which shows how a rectangle object is positioned using ‘Canvas’ on co-ordinates (50,150).

<Canvas x:Name="MyCanvas">
<Rectangle Fill="Blue" Width="100" 




Below is how the display looks like. When you the run the code, the XAML viewer will position the rectangle object on absolute ‘X” and ‘Y’ coordinates.

Grid – Table layout

Grid layout helps you position your controls using rows and columns. It’s very similar to table defined in HTML.

Below is a simple table with two columns and two rows defined using Grid. We have shown how the table display looks like. Using the Grid.ColumnDefinition, we have defined two columns and using Grid.RowDefinition, we have defined two rows. We have then created 4 text blocks which are then specified in each section using Grid.Column and Grid.Row. For instance, to place in the first column, we need specify the Grid.Column as 0 and Grid.Row as 0. We have followed the same pattern for everyone and you can see that all the textblocks are placed in the appropriate sections.

Stack – One Above the Other

As the name, so the behavior. Stack allows you to arrange your UI elements vertically or horizontally.

For instance, below are 4 elements which are arranged in a stack panel element. You can see how the stack aligns / stacks the elements one above other. You can also stack the UI elements horizontally or vertically depending on the nature of your layout.

Source Code

We have provided one single source code which has three XAML files explaining a sample of each layout. You can download the source code from here.

Other Silverlight FAQs

Silverlight FAQ Part 1: This tutorial has 21 basic FAQs which will help you understand WPF, XAML, help you build your first Silverlight application and also explains the overall Silverlight architecture.

SilverLight FAQ Part 2 (Animations and Transformations): This tutorial has 10 FAQ questions which starts with Silverlight animation fundamentals and then shows a simple animated rectangle. The article then moves ahead and talks about 4 different ways of transforming the objects.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
traciray20-Apr-13 13:00
membertraciray20-Apr-13 13:00 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Nigam Patel2-Jan-12 1:38
memberNigam Patel2-Jan-12 1:38 
GeneralThe rectangle in canvas picture Pin
Nick Polyak21-Jun-09 19:01
mvaNick Polyak21-Jun-09 19:01 
GeneralGood Work Pin
RaghuramanKan10-Jun-09 14:16
memberRaghuramanKan10-Jun-09 14:16 
GeneralRe: Good Work Pin
zeloniss15-Jun-09 10:42
memberzeloniss15-Jun-09 10:42 

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