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Overview

The WinForms Docking Manager control provides an interface to create Visual Studio-like dockable windows in your applications. Dock panels support many interactions like docking, floating, tabbing, and auto hiding. Allow user to resize, move, and change the behavior of windows to create a layout that suits various development models.


Dock and float windows

Dock windows can be docked to any side of a container. End users can easily dock or float windows interactively via drag-and-drop. When a dock window is about to be docked, a dock preview will be displayed to show where the object will be placed.

Dock and float windows around the screen


Group windows in tabs

Allows end users to group dock or float windows in tabs. Dock hints let you dock a window over or beside an already docked window. The appearance of tabs and panels in a group of dock or float windows can be fully customized.

Tabbed windows in same container


Pinnable dock windows

Groups of dock windows that are not being used in a container can be unpinned. Tabs for each dock window appear on the edges of the container. Hover the pointer on one of these tabs will bring the related window content into view.

Pin and unpin the dock windows


Make MDI forms

Display each document as a separate window within the client area. This allows users to work with more than one document at the same time and seamlessly switch back and forth between docked windows and MDI forms.

MDI - Multiple Document Interface


End-User Capabilities

Restrict dock panel to another dock container

Dockability

Allows end users to restrict windows to dock on specific sides of the target dock windows or edges of form. Also let the user to customize the dock hints visibility by show dock hints only on horizontal or vertical or any specific sides.

Float and redock the panels to container

Redock

Built-in redock support saves the previous state of dock or float windows and moves the windows to previous dock or float states after double-clicking on a caption.

Reorder tabs in tabbed windows

Reorder tabs

Tabs in a group of dock or float windows can be reordered by dragging and dropping the tabs to the desired index.

Tab orientation

Position tabs horizontally or vertically in a group of dock or float windows.

Scroll tabs in tabbed windows

Scroll tabs

A group of dock, float, and auto hidden tabs can be arranged in an extended style, allowing the tabs in the non-visible region to be displayed by scrolling.

Docking guides

Docking hints are displayed to indicate the valid drop location for docking panels while dragging the float window. The appearance of the dock hints can be customized with built-in styles.

Context menu options to float, hide and redock windows

Context menu

Dock panels can be moved to different states using a built-in context menu that appears after right-clicking on their captions. Improve the end-user experience by adding custom context menu entries.

Dock panels without header

Hide caption

Dock window appearances can be changed to flat panels by hiding the dock window captions. Dock window caption visibility can be changed dynamically.


Host client controls

Host any control inside the docking manager, even non-docking windows. Client controls can be created and hosted inside any container control, user control, or MDI child form type.

Dock fill with client controls in container


State persistence

Dock layout can be serialized and loaded back through the built-in serialization options. This allows users to choose their options to serialize the dock state in different available formats.

Serialize and deserialize dock layout


Multilevel nested docking

Allows users to create nested docking layouts with docked windows inside other docked windows, or directly dock to the main form.

Nested dock panels in DockingManager


Linked docking manager

Easily drag the child windows from one docking manager to another by linking different docking managers together.

Float and Dock panel from one window to another window


Appearance

Provides a rich set of built-in themes like Office-style, Blend, Metro, and Visual Studio.


Right-to-left

Lay out dock panels in a left-to-right or right-to-left fashion to develop forms for worldwide audiences.

RTL supported layout management


Localization

All static text in the context menu and tooltip of dock panel captions can be localized to any desired language.

Globalization and localization


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