Windows and panes

The display layouts are hierarchically organized. The layouts are built using components called windows and panes.

Table 1. Windows and panes
Window / Pane



The screen is the topmost display component, corresponding to the entire pixel area of the physical screen.


A window is a component that has no parent except the screen. Typically, a window fills up the entire screen, but there are also smaller (temporary) windows that take up only a part of the screen, leaving other parts of the screen visible around themselves. Each application runs in a window of its own. Applications can also use other temporary windows.


A pane is a subcomponent of a window. A window may contain several panes, and each pane may contain further sub-panes and so on. A bottom level component that cannot have a sub-component can be called an element.

Application window

An application window is a main window filling up the entire screen. It is usually not used directly for display, but just as a parent for the various panes. A typical application window is divided into the following panes:
  • Status pane

  • Main pane

  • Control pane

See Main pane , Status pane and Control pane for more detailed descriptions on each of these panes.

Pop-up window

A pop-up window must not fill the entire screen; the pop-up window has a frame, and typically the underlying application is partly visible around the pop-up window. Pop-up windows are typically used in temporary states. Back stepping should not usually lead to a pop-up window. Detailed information on the various pop-up windows can be found in Pop-up windows.

Figure 1. Panes

Using windows and panes in applications

Windows and panes use the Symbian application and UI frameworks. For implementation information, see Application and UI framework implementation considerations.