Group Box

Purpose

A group box is a labeled rectangular area that surrounds a set of related controls. A frame is an unlabeled rectangular area that can be used to mark relationships.

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

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.
  • Don’t group single controls.
  • Show relationship by layout only.

Behavior

  • Don’t nest grouping elements; use layout to show relationships within a group.
  • Don’t place controls in group box caption.
  • Don’t disable groups. To indicate that a group of controls does not 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.
  • Don’t 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.