SingleChildScrollView class

A box in which a single widget can be scrolled.

This widget is useful when you have a single box that will normally be entirely visible, for example a clock face in a time picker, but you need to make sure it can be scrolled if the container gets too small in one axis (the scroll direction).

It is also useful if you need to shrink-wrap in both axes (the main scrolling direction as well as the cross axis), as one might see in a dialog or pop-up menu. In that case, you might pair the SingleChildScrollView with a ListBody child.

When you have a list of children and do not require cross-axis shrink-wrapping behavior, for example a scrolling list that is always the width of the screen, consider ListView, which is vastly more efficient that a SingleChildScrollView containing a ListBody or Column with many children.

Sample code: Using SingleChildScrollView with a Column

Sometimes a layout is designed around the flexible properties of a Column, but there is the concern that in some cases, there might not be enough room to see the entire contents. This could be because some devices have unusually small screens, or because the application can be used in landscape mode where the aspect ratio isn't what was originally envisioned, or because the application is being shown in a small window in split-screen mode. In any case, as a result, it might make sense to wrap the layout in a SingleChildScrollView.

Simply doing so, however, usually results in a conflict between the Column, which typically tries to grow as big as it can, and the SingleChildScrollView, which provides its children with an infinite amount of space.

To resolve this apparent conflict, there are a couple of techniques, as discussed below. These techniques should only be used when the content is normally expected to fit on the screen, so that the lazy instantiation of a sliver-based ListView or CustomScrollView is not expected to provide any performance benefit. If the viewport is expected to usually contain content beyond the dimensions of the screen, then SingleChildScrollView would be very expensive.

Centering, spacing, or aligning fixed-height content

If the content has fixed (or intrinsic) dimensions but needs to be spaced out, centered, or otherwise positioned using the Flex layout model of a Column, the following technique can be used to provide the Column with a minimum dimension while allowing it to shrink-wrap the contents when there isn't enough room to apply these spacing or alignment needs.

A LayoutBuilder is used to obtain the size of the viewport (implicitly via the constraints that the SingleChildScrollView sees, since viewports typically grow to fit their maximum height constraint). Then, inside the scroll view, a ConstrainedBox is used to set the minimum height of the Column.

The Column has no Expanded children, so rather than take on the infinite height from its BoxConstraints.maxHeight, (the viewport provides no maximum height constraint), it automatically tries to shrink to fit its children. It cannot be smaller than its BoxConstraints.minHeight, though, and It therefore becomes the bigger of the minimum height provided by the ConstrainedBox and the sum of the heights of the children.

If the children aren't enough to fit that minimum size, the Column ends up with some remaining space to allocate as specified by its Column.mainAxisAlignment argument.

In this example, the children are spaced out equally, unless there's no more room, in which case they stack vertically and scroll.

LayoutBuilder(
  builder: (BuildContext context, BoxConstraints viewportConstraints) {
    return SingleChildScrollView(
      child: ConstrainedBox(
        constraints: BoxConstraints(
          minHeight: viewportConstraints.maxHeight,
        ),
        child: Column(
          mainAxisSize: MainAxisSize.min,
          mainAxisAlignment: MainAxisAlignment.spaceAround,
          children: <Widget>[
            Container(
              // A fixed-height child.
              color: Colors.yellow,
              height: 120.0,
            ),
            Container(
              // Another fixed-height child.
              color: Colors.green,
              height: 120.0,
            ),
          ],
        ),
      ),
    );
  },
)

When using this technique, Expanded and Flexible are not useful, because in both cases the "available space" is infinite (since this is in a viewport). The next section describes a technique for providing a maximum height constraint.

Expanding content to fit the viewport

The following example builds on the previous one. In addition to providing a minimum dimension for the child Column, an IntrinsicHeight widget is used to force the column to be exactly as big as its contents. This constraint combines with the ConstrainedBox constraints discussed previously to ensure that the column becomes either as big as viewport, or as big as the contents, whichever is biggest.

Both constraints must be used to get the desired effect. If only the IntrinsicHeight was specified, then the column would not grow to fit the entire viewport when its children were smaller than the whole screen. If only the size of the viewport was used, then the Column would overflow if the children were bigger than the viewport.

The widget that is to grow to fit the remaining space so provided is wrapped in an Expanded widget.

LayoutBuilder(
  builder: (BuildContext context, BoxConstraints viewportConstraints) {
    return SingleChildScrollView(
      child: ConstrainedBox(
        constraints: BoxConstraints(
          minHeight: viewportConstraints.maxHeight,
        ),
        child: IntrinsicHeight(
          child: Column(
            children: <Widget>[
              Container(
                // A fixed-height child.
                color: Colors.yellow,
                height: 120.0,
              ),
              Expanded(
                // A flexible child that will grow to fit the viewport but
                // still be at least as big as necessary to fit its contents.
                child: Container(
                  color: Colors.blue,
                  height: 120.0,
                ),
              ),
            ],
          ),
        ),
      ),
    );
  },
)

This technique is quite expensive, as it more or less requires that the contents of the viewport be laid out twice (once to find their intrinsic dimensions, and once to actually lay them out). The number of widgets within the column should therefore be kept small. Alternatively, subsets of the children that have known dimensions can be wrapped in a SizedBox that has tight vertical constraints, so that the intrinsic sizing algorithm can short-circuit the computation when it reaches those parts of the subtree.

See also:

  • ListView, which handles multiple children in a scrolling list.
  • GridView, which handles multiple children in a scrolling grid.
  • PageView, for a scrollable that works page by page.
  • Scrollable, which handles arbitrary scrolling effects.
Inheritance

Constructors

SingleChildScrollView({Key key, Axis scrollDirection: Axis.vertical, bool reverse: false, EdgeInsetsGeometry padding, bool primary, ScrollPhysics physics, ScrollController controller, Widget child })
Creates a box in which a single widget can be scrolled.

Properties

child Widget
The widget that scrolls. [...]
final
controller ScrollController
An object that can be used to control the position to which this scroll view is scrolled. [...]
final
padding EdgeInsetsGeometry
The amount of space by which to inset the child.
final
physics ScrollPhysics
How the scroll view should respond to user input. [...]
final
primary bool
Whether this is the primary scroll view associated with the parent PrimaryScrollController. [...]
final
reverse bool
Whether the scroll view scrolls in the reading direction. [...]
final
scrollDirection Axis
The axis along which the scroll view scrolls. [...]
final
hashCode int
The hash code for this object. [...]
read-only, inherited
key Key
Controls how one widget replaces another widget in the tree. [...]
final, inherited
runtimeType Type
A representation of the runtime type of the object.
read-only, inherited

Methods

build(BuildContext context) Widget
Describes the part of the user interface represented by this widget. [...]
override
createElement() StatelessElement
Creates a StatelessElement to manage this widget's location in the tree. [...]
inherited
debugDescribeChildren() List<DiagnosticsNode>
Returns a list of DiagnosticsNode objects describing this node's children. [...]
@protected, inherited
debugFillProperties(DiagnosticPropertiesBuilder properties) → void
Add additional properties associated with the node. [...]
inherited
noSuchMethod(Invocation invocation) → dynamic
Invoked when a non-existent method or property is accessed. [...]
inherited
toDiagnosticsNode({String name, DiagnosticsTreeStyle style }) DiagnosticsNode
Returns a debug representation of the object that is used by debugging tools and by toStringDeep. [...]
inherited
toString({DiagnosticLevel minLevel: DiagnosticLevel.debug }) String
Returns a string representation of this object.
inherited
toStringDeep({String prefixLineOne: '', String prefixOtherLines, DiagnosticLevel minLevel: DiagnosticLevel.debug }) String
Returns a string representation of this node and its descendants. [...]
inherited
toStringShallow({String joiner: ', ', DiagnosticLevel minLevel: DiagnosticLevel.debug }) String
Returns a one-line detailed description of the object. [...]
inherited
toStringShort() String
A short, textual description of this widget.
inherited

Operators

operator ==(dynamic other) bool
The equality operator. [...]
inherited