Chapter 2. Geometry Management

To display widgets on the screen, they must be passed to a geometry manager. The geometry manager controls the position and size of the widgets in the display window. Several geometry managers are available with Perl/Tk: pack, place, grid, and form.

All the geometry managers are invoked as methods on the widget, but they all have their own methodologies and arguments to change where and how the widgets are put on the screen:

$widget1->pack(); $widget2->place(); $widget3->grid(); $widget4->form(  );

When you organize the widgets in your window, it is often necessary to separate groups of widgets to get a certain look and feel. For instance, when you use pack, it is difficult to have widgets stacked both horizontally and vertically without grouping them in some fashion. We use a Frame widget or another window (a Toplevel widget) to group widgets inside a window.

We create our first window by calling MainWindow. The MainWindow is a special form of a Toplevel widget. For more detailed information on how to create/configure Frame and Toplevel widgets, see Chapter 11.

With the exception of place, differences between the geometry managers make it difficult (not entirely impossible, but definitely not recommended) to use more than one geometry manager within the same area. In $mw, we can display many types of widgets, but if we start using pack, we should continue to use pack on all the widgets contained directly in $mw. Don’t switch to grid in the middle, ...

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