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Indicating an empty ListView

, 11 Jan 2000 CPOL
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Instead of presenting a blank screen if your list control is empty, why not try this?

Sample Image - EmptyLV.gif

When using a ListView it may be useful to inform the user that the control is empty, like Microsoft Outlook does. Doing this is pretty straightforward. Just derive your own ListView control from CListCtrl and add a WM_PAINT event handler to your derived class.

class CEmptyListCtrl : public CListCtrl
// Construction

// Overrides
	// ClassWizard generated virtual function overrides

// Implementation

// Generated message map functions
	afx_msg void OnPaint();

Then, in OnPaint member function, implement the code necessary to handle the empty condition.

void CEmptyListCtrl::OnPaint() 
    if (GetItemCount() <= 0)
        COLORREF clrText = ::GetSysColor(COLOR_WINDOWTEXT);
        COLORREF clrTextBk = ::GetSysColor(COLOR_WINDOW);

        CDC* pDC = GetDC();
        // Save dc state
        int nSavedDC = pDC->SaveDC();

        CRect rc;

        CHeaderCtrl* pHC;
        pHC = GetHeaderCtrl();
        if (pHC != NULL)
            CRect rcH;
            pHC->GetItemRect(0, &rcH);
   += rcH.bottom;
        } += 10;

        CString strText((LPCSTR)IDS_NOITEMS); // The message you want!

        pDC->FillRect(rc, &CBrush(clrTextBk));
        pDC->DrawText(strText, -1, rc, 
                      DT_CENTER | DT_WORDBREAK | DT_NOPREFIX | DT_NOCLIP);

        // Restore dc
    // Do not call CListCtrl::OnPaint() for painting messages


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

Generaluseful idea PinmemberCIDev24-Sep-10 5:56 
GeneralA non MFC version Pinmemberineox24-Mar-10 3:37 
GeneralError PinmemberAdi Narayana22-May-06 22:30 
GeneralBugs PinmemberTim L18-Nov-05 10:24 
GeneralUsing the default listview font and colors Pinmemberjavrillon23-Jul-04 7:38 
QuestionHow to use in a DLL PinmemberLordLiverpool22-May-03 4:37 
Generallistview adding mutiple colored row selection PinmemberAnonymous2-Apr-02 10:16 
GeneralPerhaps a better way... PinmemberDavid Fleming7-Mar-02 12:19 
After looking over the comments from others and giving it some thought (as well as some fiddling with my own code), I think I have found a better way.
I think it is better to perform this sort of thing in response to a WM_ERASEBKGND message (rather than WM_PAINT).
Also, if you are using Callbacks, you have to account for that as one of the messages mentions.
Considering those things, here's my take on it:
Add a function to handle the WM_ERASEBKGND message as follows:
BOOL CCallbackListCtrl::OnEraseBkgnd(CDC* pDC)
	if(GetItemCount() <= 0)
		int nSavedDC = pDC->SaveDC(); //save the current DC state

		//Set up variables
		COLORREF clrText = ::GetSysColor(COLOR_WINDOWTEXT);	//system text color
		COLORREF clrBack = ::GetSysColor(COLOR_WINDOW);		//system background color
		CRect rc;
		GetClientRect(&rc);	//get client area of the ListCtrl

		//If there is a header, we need to account for the space it occupies
		CHeaderCtrl* pHC = GetHeaderCtrl();
		if(pHC != NULL)
			CRect rcH;
			pHC->GetItemRect(0, &rcH); += rcH.bottom;
        //Here is the string we want to display (or you can use a StringTable entry
        CString strText = "There are no items to display.";
        //Now we actually display the text
        pDC->SetTextColor(clrText);	//set the text color
        pDC->SetBkColor(clrBack);	//set the background color
        pDC->FillRect(rc, &CBrush(clrBack));	//fill the client area rect
        pDC->SelectStockObject(ANSI_VAR_FONT);	//select a font
        pDC->DrawText(strText, -1, rc, 
                      DT_CENTER | DT_WORDBREAK | DT_NOPREFIX | DT_NOCLIP); //and draw the text

        // Restore dc
	//If there are items in the ListCtrl, we need to call the base class function
    return true;
That should do it. It works well for me (even when using Callbacks).
GeneralRe: Perhaps a better way... PinmemberAtlantys19-Sep-02 7:46 
GeneralRe: Perhaps a better way... PinmemberStlan7-Oct-03 4:27 
GeneralRe: Perhaps a better way... PinmemberDavid Fleming7-Oct-03 7:18 
GeneralRe: Perhaps a better way... PinmemberStlan7-Oct-03 20:20 
GeneralRe: Perhaps a better way... PinsussRon Olson16-Jun-04 6:31 
GeneralRe: Perhaps a better way... PinmemberDavid Fleming16-Jun-04 7:13 
GeneralRe: Perhaps a better way... PinmemberRon Olson16-Jun-04 17:02 
Generaltoo complicated PinmemberAnonymous2-Mar-02 3:22 
GeneralRe: too complicated PinmemberMartijn18-Sep-03 3:28 
GeneralI can't get this code to work PinmemberDanYELL24-Aug-01 15:48 
Generalgot it working for a ClistView PinsussX23-Oct-00 16:21 
QuestionHow does control get painted when the row count > 0??? PinsussCaleb15-Aug-00 16:58 
AnswerFound better example at Codeguru PinsussCaleb15-Aug-00 18:41 
GeneralSuggestion for Call Back List Control Type PinsussMurugan N.V.7-Jun-00 11:47 
GeneralDisabled ListCtrl PinsussLeo Davidson13-Jan-00 8:15 

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