Layout (computing)

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In computing, layout is the process of calculating the position of objects in space subject to various constraints. This functionality can be part of an application or packaged as a reusable component or library.


  • Page layout is the computation of the position of the paragraphs, tabs, sentences, words and letters of a text. This is done by desktop publishing software, typesetting software, and web browsers. These programs typically have dedicated layout routines to calculate the correct position of glyphs and embedded images.
  • Some widget toolkits include a layout manager. This component automatically calculates a widget's position based on alignment constraints without the need for the programmer to specify absolute coordinates.
  • Graph drawing software automatically determine the position of the vertexes and edges of a graph with various goals like minimization of the number of edge intersections, minimization of total area or production of an aesthetically pleasing result.
  • Electronic design automation tools for the place and route step.

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