Panels share a lot with folders. In fact they really are folders, but without a window. Their content is directly displayed in the container (either a desktop… or folder… or another panel!)
One great use of panel is a (scrolling) dock bar.
Since panels are folders, basic operations are the same as explained on the folders page.
A panel is a powerful but advanced object. It is not (yet) as easy to use as a classic folder.
The panel grid settings stay the same regardless of the actual panel size. In practice it means that if a panel box is enlarged, it won't display more rows or columns, but these rows and columns will be stretched to fit the new size. At time of creation, a panel is given a size and a number of rows/columns so that it matches the default desktop settings: a cell in the desktop has the same size as a cell in the panel. But if you later change the panel size or grid settings it won't be the case anymore.
It can be difficult to edit the layout of a panel because of the limited space. In order to ease this operation you may enlarge it first, move objects, then shrink it again.
Long tapping on a panel is a bit different from long tapping on a shortcut, because it will be directed to the panel content. If you want to edit the panel item properties, you need to enter the edit layout mode first, and then long tap on the panel.
Pinch zoom do not affect panels, but is always directed to the desktop. If you pinch zoom on a panel, the desktop will zoom, not the panel. However, it is possible to adjust the scale in a panel, either through the “Zoom full scale” action, or directly through scripts.
Since a panel can be displayed in a scrolling desktop (or any other container) and can possibly be scrolled itself, both scrolling can conflict.
How it works when both container and desktop can be scrolled ?
If needed, desktop and panel scrolling direction can be adjusted manually using the “Scroll direction” option. This way you can force scrolling in a direction or fully disable it.
Enter edit layout mode in the desktop containing the panel, long tap on the panel, select “Customize item / More…”. In the “Box” tab, select borders and set their size to 0.
Since a panel is itself a container, you need to enter the edit layout mode first before to select the panel, otherwise long pressing on the panel displays a menu for the panel content, not the folder item itself.