#444 – Children of DockPanel Don’t Always Have to be Stretched

Normally, when you dock a child element in a DockPanel to one of the sides, it is stretched to fit the entire length or height of that side.

        <Button Content="1st (Top)" DockPanel.Dock="Top" />
        <Button Content="2nd (Left)" DockPanel.Dock="Left" />
        <Button Content="3rd (Top)" DockPanel.Dock="Top" />
        <Label Content="4th (Right)" DockPanel.Dock="Right" Background="DarkKhaki"/>
        <Label Content="5th, fills remaining space" Background="Khaki"/>

You can, however, use HorizontalAlignment (when docked to Top or Bottom) or VerticalAlignment (when docked to Left or Right) to have the control autosize to fit its content.

        <Button Content="1st (Top/Center)" DockPanel.Dock="Top" HorizontalAlignment="Center"/>
        <Button Content="2nd (Left/Bottom)" DockPanel.Dock="Left" VerticalAlignment="Bottom"/>
        <Button Content="3rd (Top/Right)" DockPanel.Dock="Top" HorizontalAlignment="Right"/>
        <Label Content="4th (Right/Top)" DockPanel.Dock="Right" Background="DarkKhaki" VerticalAlignment="Top"/>
        <Label Content="5th, fills remaining space, Centered" Background="Khaki" HorizontalAlignment="Center"/>