. A novel method for layout has been proposed for control panel. Six layout principles of ergonomics are taken into consideration to reduce the influences of indeterminate factors caused by the subjective judgments of designers. Optimization method and function is constructed to optimize the layout result based on genetic algorithm. And a computer-aided layout system is developed based on UG/OPEN API to realize automatic layout by computer. A detailed example of control panel layout of a thermal power plant is provided. The result shows that the efficiency and quality of layout are improved by this method.