We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to browse, then you agree to our privacy policy and cookie policy. Image for the cookie policy date
Unfortunately, activation email could not send to your email. Please try again.
Syncfusion Feedback

Trusted by the world’s leading companies

Syncfusion Trusted Companies


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

Different kinds of docking windows

Dockable windows can be dragged anywhere by users. They can be floated around the screen, pinned, and unpinned. As in Visual Studio, the Docking Manager control offers different kinds of windows:

  • Docking windows
  • Floating windows
  • Tabbed windows
  • Pinnable windows
  • Tabbed MDI windows

Dock panels at any side and float the control in WinForms Docking Manager

Restrict docking

Restrict windows from docking at specific sides of a target or at specific edges of a form. Also customize the dock hint visibility so that they are shown only on horizontal, vertical, or specific sides.

WinForms Docking Manager restrict docking on specific sides

Resizing windows

Users can utilize this interactive WinForms Docking Manager to resize windows by using a splitter between them. Resizing can be restricted within a minimum and maximum limit.

Resizing windows in WinForms Docking Manager

Redock to previous location

Built-in redock support saves the previous state of dock or float windows and moves the windows back to the state when the caption is double-clicked.

Float windows dock back to the previous location in WinForms Docking Manager

Scroll tabs

The Docking Manager in WinForms can arrange groups of dock, float, and auto hide tabs. When the space is not sufficient to display all the tabs, users can view the tabs outside the viewport by scrolling or clicking the scroll buttons.

WinForms Docking Manager with scrollable tabs

Docking guides

Docking hints are displayed to indicate valid drop locations for docking panels while dragging the float window. Customize the appearance of the dock hints with built-in styles.

WinForms Docking Manager displays docking guides to dock windows

Context menu

The WinForms Dock panels can be moved to different states using built-in context menu that appears when the caption is right-clicked. Improve the end-user experience by adding custom context menu entries.

WinForms Docking Manager with context menu for close, float, pin windows

Hide caption

Hide the visibility of a dock window caption dynamically.

WinForms Docking Manager collapses the dock window caption

MDI forms

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

WinForms Docking Manager displays multiple documents

Tab groups

The Docking Manager in Windows Forms supports grouping relevant documents into separate tab groups and allows tab group creation in both horizontal and vertical orientations. This helps users display multiple open documents, similar to MDI windows.

WinForms Docking Manager displays tab groups in horizontal and vertical orientation

Save and restore

Built-in serialization options support saving a dock layout in different formats on closing, and restoring it on opening the application.

WinForms Docking Manager save and restore the docking layout

Complex docking layout

Visual Studio like WinForms Docking control allows users to create nested docking layouts with docked windows inside other docked windows or directly dock windows to the main form.

WinForms Docking Manager displays complex layout

Linked docking

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

WinForms Docking Manager dock windows from one window to another window


The WinForms Docking Manager with a rich UI provides built-in themes like Office-style, Blend, Metro, and Visual Studio.

Visual Studio style WinForms Docking Manager


The WinForms Dock control supports localization to translate static text to any supported language.

WinForms Docking Manager displays localized text

Right to left

A right-to-left (RTL) direction setting is available for users working with languages like Hebrew, Arabic, or Persian.

WinForms Docking Manager displays content in right to left

WinForms Docking Manager control Code Example

Easily get started with the WinForms Docking Manager control using a few simple lines of C# code example as demonstrated below. Also explore our WinForms Docking Manager Example that shows you how to render and configure the WinForms Docking Manager.

using Syncfusion.Windows.Forms.Tools;
namespace WindowsFormsApplication1
    public partial class Form1 : Form
          DockingManager dockingManager1 = new DockingManager();
          CaptionButtonsCollection ccbpanel1 = new CaptionButtonsCollection();
          Panel explorer = new Panel();
          Panel output = new Panel();
          public Form1()
               this.dockingManager1.HostControl = this;
               this.dockingManager1.SetEnableDocking(explorer, true);
               this.dockingManager1.SetEnableDocking(output, true);
               this.dockingManager1.SetDockLabel(explorer, "Solution Explorer");
               this.dockingManager1.SetDockLabel(output, "Output");
               this.dockingManager1.DockControl(output, this, DockingStyle.Left, 100);
               this.dockingManager1.DockControl(explorer, this, DockingStyle.Right, 100);
               this.dockingManager1.CaptionButtons.Add(new CaptionButton(CaptionButtonType.Close, "CloseButton"));
               this.dockingManager1.CaptionButtons.Add(new CaptionButton(CaptionButtonType.Pin, "PinButton"));
               this.dockingManager1.CaptionButtons.Add(new CaptionButton(CaptionButtonType.Menu, "MenuButton"));
               ccbpanel1.MergeWith(this.dockingManager1.CaptionButtons, false);
               this.dockingManager1.SetCustomCaptionButtons(this.explorer, ccbpanel1);
               this.dockingManager1.SetCustomCaptionButtons(this.output, ccbpanel1);


Frequently Asked Questions

Syncfusion WinForms Docking Manager provides the following features:

  • Create Visual Studio-inspired dock window interfaces with float, dock, auto hide, and tabbed state.
  • Save layout information on closing and restore them on opening the application.
  • Allows users to interactively resize, move, and change the behavior of windows to create a layout based on their needs.
  • Build complex, large-scale applications with a bunch of features with customization options.
  • One of the best WinForms Docking Manager in the market that offers feature-rich UI to interact with the software.
  • Simple configuration and API.
  • Touch friendly and responsive.
  • Extensive demos and documentation to learn quickly and get started with WinForms Docking Manager.

You can find our WinForms Docking Manager demo on

GitHub location.

No, this is a commercial product and requires a paid license. However, a free community license is also available for companies and individuals whose organizations have less than $1 million USD in annual gross revenue, 5 or fewer developers, and 10 or fewer total employees.

A good place to start would be our comprehensive getting started documentation.

Our Customers Love Us

Having an excellent set of tools and a great support team, Syncfusion reduces customers’ development time.
Here are some of their experiences.

Rated by users across the globe

Transform your applications today by downloading our free evaluation version
Download Free Trial No credit card required.

Syncfusion Windows Forms Resources


Greatness—it’s one thing to say you have it, but it means more when others recognize it. Syncfusion is proud to hold the following industry awards.

Up arrow icon
Live Chat Icon For mobile