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Panel control menu
Right-click on the Panel to get to the Panel Preferencesmenu.
That will bring up the Panel control window, where I select the automatic show/hide option.
There are other options here for size and positioning of the Panel, but my next interest is the Items tab, where I can add to the contents of the Panel. I like to have a Weather icon and a Logout/Shutdown control on the Panel.
Obviously there are quite a few other items which can be added to the Xfce Panel.