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TreeViewColumns User Control (Lite)

, 25 Mar 2009 CPOL
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A TreeView having columns.


This projects shows a TreeView user control having columns.


There are TreeView controls adding columns to tree nodes. Most of these controls have a lot of code to make things work. If the specifications are lowered, a more simple approach can be taken to deliver a TreeViewColumns User Control lite edition.

The heart of the user control consists of a hybrid made out of a TreeView control and a ListView control. The TreeView control is positioned directly on the ListView control, hiding its body. Only the columns header of the ListView is visible. The columns of the ListView control are only used to set the column width, text alignment, and titles of the columns of the user control.

The TreeView's DrawMode property is set to OwnerDrawAll, and a DrawNode event handler paints the columns next to the TreeNodes.

private void treeView1_DrawNode(object sender, DrawTreeNodeEventArgs e)
    e.DrawDefault = true;

    Rectangle rect = e.Bounds;

    if ((e.State & TreeNodeStates.Selected) != 0)
        if ((e.State & TreeNodeStates.Focused) != 0)
            e.Graphics.FillRectangle(SystemBrushes.Highlight, rect);
            e.Graphics.FillRectangle(SystemBrushes.Control, rect);
        e.Graphics.FillRectangle(Brushes.White, rect);

    e.Graphics.DrawRectangle(SystemPens.Control, rect);

    for (int intColumn = 1; intColumn < this.listView1.Columns.Count; 
        rect.Offset(this.listView1.Columns[intColumn - 1].Width, 0);
        rect.Width = this.listView1.Columns[intColumn].Width;

        e.Graphics.DrawRectangle(SystemPens.Control, rect);

        string strColumnText;
        string[] list = e.Node.Tag as string[];
        if (list != null && intColumn<=list.Length)
            strColumnText = list[intColumn - 1];
            strColumnText = intColumn + " " + e.Node.Text; // dummy

        TextFormatFlags flags = TextFormatFlags.EndEllipsis;
            case HorizontalAlignment.Center:
                flags |= TextFormatFlags.HorizontalCenter;
            case HorizontalAlignment.Left:
                flags |= TextFormatFlags.Left;
            case HorizontalAlignment.Right:
                flags |= TextFormatFlags.Right;

        if ((e.State & TreeNodeStates.Selected) != 0 &&
            (e.State & TreeNodeStates.Focused) != 0)

To give the user control a VisualStyles appearance, only these two lines of code are used:

public TreeViewColumns()

    this.BackColor = VisualStyleInformation.TextControlBorder;
    this.Padding = new Padding(1);

The last thing the user control needs are some event handlers which are triggered by the user when clicking the 'rows' or the 'columns' of the user control.

private void treeView1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    Point p = this.treeView1.PointToClient(Control.MousePosition);
    TreeNode tn = this.treeView1.GetNodeAt(p);
    if (tn != null)
        this.treeView1.SelectedNode = tn;

private void listView1_ColumnWidthChanged(object sender, 
    ColumnWidthChangedEventArgs e)

private void listView1_ColumnWidthChanging(object sender, 
    ColumnWidthChangingEventArgs e)

I have kept the project simple, which makes it easier for others to expand the control by adding more and more features. It is by far the smallest TreeView having columns on CodeProject. But, it is a 'lite' version. So, don't complain if things are not working correctly under specific conditions.

Using the Code

To make use of the user control, the only thing you have to add is some string array to the Tag property of each TreeNode.



The user control has two properties which can be used to do the job. The TreeView itself can be accessed by the this.treeViewColumns1.TreeView property. For adjusting the columns, the this.treeViewColumns1.Columns property must be used. Keep in mind, Columns[0] is te space reserved for the TreeView itself.

An example of adding a TreeNode and columns to the user control:

TreeNode treeNode = new TreeNode("test");
treeNode.Tag = new string[] { "col1", "col2" };

Points of Interest

Because it is a 'lite' control, you can change the columns to values where the TreeView looks garbled. So, you have to add code to do some boundary checking.


As of writing (March 2009), version is presented.


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


About the Author

Alphons van der Heijden
Retired Van der Heijden Holding BV
Netherlands Netherlands
I'm Alphons van der Heijden, living in Lelystad, Netherlands, Europa, Earth. And currently I'm retiring from hard working ( ;- ), owning my own company. Because I'm full of energy, and a little to young to relax ...., I don't sit down, but create and recreate software solutions, that I like. Reinventing the wheel is my second nature. My interest is in the area of Internet technologies, .NET etc. I was there in 1992 when Mosaic came out, and from that point, my life changed dramatically, and so did the world, in fact. (Y)

Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 3 PinmemberFlorian Trück25-Dec-14 2:29 
BugDesigner not working properly PinmemberFlorian Trück25-Dec-14 2:27 
QuestionGreat job! PinmemberTibor Bicskei20-Aug-14 22:14 
GeneralGood Job !! [modified] PinmemberRoyDengOK7-Feb-14 19:51 
GeneralRe: Good Job !! PinprofessionalAlphons van der Heijden29-May-14 23:22 
QuestionHow can I remove the checkbox from first column PinmemberMember 161654216-Aug-13 5:44 
AnswerRe: How can I remove the checkbox from first column PinmemberAlphons van der Heijden30-Aug-13 3:24 
GeneralRe: How can I remove the checkbox from first column Pinmemberblodgyblodgy28-Oct-14 10:43 
GeneralRe: How can I remove the checkbox from first column PinprofessionalAlphons van der Heijden8-Nov-14 12:25 
Questionhow to move the items up and down PinmemberRam Shelke18-Mar-13 6:38 
QuestionLeave the Focus while it is in the selection PinmemberMember 407163318-Jan-13 4:59 
QuestionLeave the Focus while it is in the selection. PinmemberShan Balamurugan18-Jan-13 4:54 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberYvar Birx21-Nov-12 7:53 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberandywon2-Apr-12 21:15 
GeneralSimplicity is a virtue! Pinmemberaustinc3-Jan-11 16:36 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberaustinc3-Jan-11 16:35 
QuestionCan you get selected node back to the form? Pinmemberalan9320-Oct-10 10:13 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMember 22992119-Aug-10 9:07 
QuestionHow to add a series of node but without changing previous nodes? PinmemberMember 22935446-Aug-10 3:21 
GeneralGreat Job Pinmembertonyt9-Feb-10 4:37 
GeneralRe: Great Job PinmemberAlphons van der Heijden11-Feb-10 2:10 
GeneralGood Job Pinmemberdefineconst30-Mar-09 15:42 
GeneralNice!! PinmemberChris Richner25-Mar-09 8:08 

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