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.
Ask yourself, 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.
- 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.
- 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.