Group box

Purpose

A group box is a labeled rectangular area that surrounds a set of related controls. A frame (also known as a panel) is an unlabeled rectangular area that can be used to mark relationship.

Group box and frame are a way to show visual relationships; it provides no additional functionality.

Example

Guidelines

Is this the right control?

  • Always use a group box to arrange related controls.
  • Use a frame to arrange related controls that cannot be labeled.
  • Do not group single controls.
  • Show relationship by layout only.

Behavior

  • Do not nest grouping elements; use layout to show relationships within a group.
  • Do not place controls in group box caption.
  • Do not disable groups. To indicate that a group of controls doesn’t currently apply, disable all the controls within the group, but not the group itself.
  • Put a Splitter between aligned grouping controls.

Appearance

  • Label the group box with a descriptive caption.
  • Do not assign an access key to the group box caption.
  • Set the group box or frame shadow to ‘flat’ to provide the consistent spacing required to convey relationship.