Customizing DockContent

By Ryan Rastedt, Lex Li

This page shows you how to customize DockContent.

In this article:

Bring a DockContent to Front

Simply call DockContent.Activate. This is usually used to show a tab as active tab in code.

Prevent The DockContent From Being Closed

You can use the OnFormClosing method to prevent the user from closing under certain conditions that cannot be determined until runtime (for example, showing a dialog box asking the user if they are really sure they wish to close the tab),

public CustomContent : DockContent
    protected override void OnFormClosing(FormClosingEventArgs e)
        bool cancel = /* add your closing validation here */;
        e.Cancel = cancel;

To prevent a DockContent from every being closed, you can also utilize the CloseButton property. You can also utilize the CloseButtonVisible property to hide the close button when docked in the DockPanel control,

public CustomContent : DockContent
    public CustomContent()

        // Prevent this content from being closed
        CloseButton = false;

        // Hide the close button so the user isn't even tempted
        CloseButtonVisible = false;


Due to the changes in the new themes, the usage of CloseButtonVisible can lead to unexpected result. Please refer to this GitHub issue for more information.

Controlling Default Height or Width When Set to Auto-Hide

The property DockContent.AutoHidePortion controls the auto-hide behaviors.

A value greater than 1 indicates a pixel size, while a value less than 1 indicates a percentage size (as a percentage of the DockPanel).

Dismissing Visible Auto-Hide Panel

Usually by double clicking the the tab of an auto-hide panel it will be dismissed. Below shows how to do it in code,

this.dockPanel.ActiveAutoHideContent = null;

Switching Among Documents

It is possible to add keyboard shortcuts to enable switching among document tabs, not yet part of the default code base,

  1. Derive from DockContent.

  2. Override ProcessCmdKey.

  3. Find the next DockContent in DockPanel.Documents.

  4. Call its Activate method.

Remove a DockContent From DockPanel

To release a DockContent from DockPanel, simply set DockContent.DockHandler.DockPanel to null.

dockContent.DockHandler.DockPanel = null;