Thursday, April 6, 2017

WPF Tip #8 - Grids and Rendering Performance

Today's tip is a quick one. It's about choosing the best panel for the layout of the UIElements in your WPF Window or Control.

Many developers will default to putting everything into a Grid. It's easy. They're flexible and offer many layout options. When a Window is relatively simple and performance is not being analyzed by users or stakeholders, using Grids everywhere might be ok. However, professional WPF developers should make it a practice to learn the differences in features and performance of each panel and choose the best one for a particular layout scenario.

In general, you should first try a StackPanel. If you can accurately lay out your Window with StackPanels without a deep nested web of them, they are the best way to go. They are much faster than Grids in both measurement of elements and layout/arrangement.

There are several other panels included in WPF. These are the most common, ranked from fastest to slowest (in general):

  1. Canvas
  2. StackPanel
  3. WrapPanel
  4. DockPanel
  5. Grid

This ranking is based on the accepted answer in this StackOverflow question. If you're interested in reading more about each of the panels and how they 'stack' up in different scenarios, I highly recommend reading the question and top answer.

Cheers!

 

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