Click here to Skip to main content
13,765,856 members
Click here to Skip to main content
Add your own
alternative version


30 bookmarked
Posted 8 Oct 2004

Bringing Back FlowLayout to WinForms Controls

, 8 Oct 2004
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
This article describes how to create a Panel that allows FlowLayout positioning for WinForms.

Sample Image - FlowLayoutPanel.jpg


With the next Visual Studio being in Beta 2 and the FlowLayout supposedly making its comeback in said revision, this could very well be a day late and a dollar short, but I had need of it and thought I would share it anyway. The FlowLayout option for laying out your controls has been missing from .NET WinForms for sometime now. While many of us don't mind absolute positioning, it can get to be a bear (or at the very least annoying) when you want to add controls dynamically but don't want to worry about System.Drawing.Points or .Top and .Left properties.


I'm currently implementing a thumbnail view and was anguished over the fact that there was no FlowLayout option for WinForms, and having Googled for FlowLayout controls and seeing a remarkable dearth of them, I decided to write my own and share it for general consumption.

Since I've posted this, I've enhanced it a little to include a LayoutStyle property that takes an enum for LayoutStyles.FlowLayout or LayoutStyles.GridLayout.


The FlowLayoutPanel is a small application with a custom control (FlowLayoutPanel.cs) that extends System.Windows.Forms.Panel and overrides:

protected override void OnLayout(LayoutEventArgs levent)

to handle FlowLayout behavior for the Panel.

It's straightforward and simple, with all the real work being done in the method above (code below). The download contains a solution from Visual Studio .NET 2003 that bundles an example application and the FlowLayoutPanel. Barring the addition of a LayoutStyle property, there is no significant difference in the usage between this and a standard Panel, except, of course, if the LayoutStyle property is set to LayoutStyles.FlowLayout, then adding a control via this.Controls.Add(someControl) or dragging and dropping in design mode positions the control automatically using FlowLayout characteristics.

protected override void OnLayout(LayoutEventArgs levent)
    if (this.LayoutStyle == LayoutStyles.FlowLayout) 
      int nextTop = 0, nextLeft = 0;
      int maxHeight = 0, maxWidth = 0;
      int ParentWidth;
      if (this.Parent != null)
          ParentWidth = this.Parent.Width;
          ParentWidth = this.Width;
      foreach(Control myControl in this.Controls)
          myControl.Top = nextTop;
          myControl.Left = nextLeft;
          if (myControl.Height > maxHeight)
              maxHeight = myControl.Height;
          if (myControl.Width > maxWidth)
              maxWidth = myControl.Width;
          if ((nextLeft + myControl.Width + maxWidth) >= ParentWidth)
              nextTop += maxHeight;
              nextLeft = 0;
              nextLeft += myControl.Width;
    this.AutoScrollPosition = new System.Drawing.Point(0,0);
    base.OnLayout (levent);


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Matt Dockins
President Premier Programming Services
United States United States
Matt Dockins is the President of Premier Programming Services, offering custom programming solutions for the Sage SalesLogix Business Partner and Sage SalesLogix Client as well as general programming services.

Premier Programming Services is a fully licensed Sage SalesLogix Development Partner, a VineyardSoft KnowledgeSync partner, and Certified Microsoft ISV.

You may also be interested in...


Comments and Discussions

GeneralAdd this snippet to enable smooth scrolling Pin
Malcolm Hall26-Jun-08 6:34
memberMalcolm Hall26-Jun-08 6:34 
QuestionWill this work with Compact Framework? Pin
Member 2073130-Jan-07 6:03
memberMember 2073130-Jan-07 6:03 
QuestionCan we Center Align of controls in flowlayout? Pin
shhameed27-Jul-05 2:37
membershhameed27-Jul-05 2:37 
QuestionFix for ordering newly added controls? Pin
20-Apr-05 10:40
suss20-Apr-05 10:40 
AnswerRe: Fix for ordering newly added controls? Pin
Anonymous21-Apr-05 6:50
memberAnonymous21-Apr-05 6:50 
GeneralA few added properties Pin
gregoftheweb19-Jan-05 12:11
membergregoftheweb19-Jan-05 12:11 
GeneralDocking and Anchoring Pin
Duray AKAR14-Dec-04 7:08
sussDuray AKAR14-Dec-04 7:08 
GeneralSome problems and their solutions Pin
Marc Clifton7-Nov-04 4:35
protectorMarc Clifton7-Nov-04 4:35 
GeneralRe: Some problems and their solutions Pin
Matt Dockins7-Nov-04 17:54
memberMatt Dockins7-Nov-04 17:54 
GeneralRe: Some problems and their solutions Pin
20-Apr-05 10:35
suss20-Apr-05 10:35 
GeneralRe: Some problems and their solutions Pin
Marc Clifton20-Apr-05 15:49
protectorMarc Clifton20-Apr-05 15:49 
GeneralRe: Some problems and their solutions Pin
20-Apr-05 15:53
suss20-Apr-05 15:53 
GeneralThanks Pin
Steven Campbell29-Oct-04 10:41
memberSteven Campbell29-Oct-04 10:41 
GeneralRe: Thanks Pin
20-Apr-05 6:42
suss20-Apr-05 6:42 
GeneralRe: Thanks Pin
20-Apr-05 10:46
suss20-Apr-05 10:46 
GeneralLooks good Pin
Marc Clifton8-Oct-04 10:57
protectorMarc Clifton8-Oct-04 10:57 
GeneralRe: Looks good Pin
Matt Dockins8-Oct-04 11:40
memberMatt Dockins8-Oct-04 11:40 
GeneralRe: Looks good Pin
chadyoshikawa7-Aug-05 7:13
memberchadyoshikawa7-Aug-05 7:13 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

Permalink | Advertise | Privacy | Cookies | Terms of Use | Mobile
Web04-2016 | 2.8.181114.1 | Last Updated 8 Oct 2004
Article Copyright 2004 by Matt Dockins
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2018
Layout: fixed | fluid