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Posted 8 May 2007

Files Selection Dialog Box / Tree

, 8 May 2007
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A treeview dialog box.

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The problem we need to solve is this: programmers are not allowed to inherit file dialog boxes in VB.NET 2005 and there are two kinds: open and save.

I once made an encryption program that worked like a safe for personal data. In my program, there were buttons named import and export, and I thought it was ugly to use dialogs with buttons whose captions were save, open. Sometimes we need to change button captions in certain situations. This project is good for those who want to design a customized file dialog box. It contains an implementation of three "tree view" file dialog boxes. The first one uses the Microsoft files-folders tools. The second one is a simple dialog that will show a file description of any file you select. The third one is a rich dialog with a progress bar, movable menu, status bar, and multiple view choices: details ,list, large icons ...


A basic knowledge of the language and tree-list view controls.

Using the code

Import all the code files of the dialog you like in your project and just handle the files in the code of the "Proceed" button instead of showing the messagebox. I will not explain everything here, but only the headlines: when you load the form, the program will use Directory.GetLogicalDrives to get all the drives in your computer and will add them in the tree view control. An image list is needed here to set the small icons for the list of drives. Now we will need a procedure to get a level of folders to handle the click on any node (after the select event). This procedure will take the name of the node (the drive or the folder) and will display the children of this node according to the names of the nested folders of the drive or folder, and will display the files in the list view control. Two image lists are needed here because of the two views (large icons, small icons), and you must bind them to the list control. Here are the main procedures:

' this will generate one level of folders in the tree node
' itree is the mother node and path is logical path
' on hard disk that this node stands for.
Sub printfilesfolders_here(ByVal path As String, ByRef itree As TreeNode) 
    Dim foldername As String 
    Dim filename As String 
    On Error GoTo eee 

    For Each foldername In Directory.GetDirectories(path)
        ''take the name of folders in the folder or drive
        On Error GoTo eee 
        Dim jj = foldername.LastIndexOf("\") 
        Dim jj1 = foldername.Length - jj 
        'separate the name from the path
        Dim foldr = foldername.Substring((jj + 1), (jj1 - 1))
        itree.Nodes.Add(foldr, foldr) 'add only the name
    Exit Sub
End Sub

'this will display files in the list view according to the path of the mother node

Sub displayfiles(ByVal path As String)
' it uses for each  on Directory.GetFiles 
' to take the pathes of files and then it gets 
' only the names and adds them in the list
' we use AddRange instead of add to gain the details view in the list

Points of Interest

If you shell the dialog after you add a USB flash disk or a new network place, they will not appear, so you need to plan to add a refresh button.


  • Last updated: 2-4-2007.


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


About the Author

Alaa Jebran
Technical Writer Code Project
Syrian Arab Republic Syrian Arab Republic
IT degree ,Damascus informatics academy
especiality : AI
Personal Interests: .net programming , DB , image processing and Steganography.

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralNIcely Done Pin
apache1o11-Jun-07 22:48
memberapache1o11-Jun-07 22:48 
QuestionI have a private question Pin
commandant_.16-May-07 3:40
membercommandant_.16-May-07 3:40 
Generalyou are extremely bright [modified] Pin
commandant_.16-May-07 3:35
membercommandant_.16-May-07 3:35 
QuestionWhat abt VS 2003 Pin
Pradeep Sen14-May-07 20:11
memberPradeep Sen14-May-07 20:11 
AnswerRe: What abt VS 2003 Pin
Alaa Jebran15-May-07 9:35
memberAlaa Jebran15-May-07 9:35 
Generalrequest: Pin
Rola saad8-May-07 21:58
memberRola saad8-May-07 21:58 
GeneralRe: request: Pin
Alaa Jebran8-May-07 23:16
memberAlaa Jebran8-May-07 23:16 
GeneralRe: request: Pin
Alaa Jebran8-May-07 23:17
memberAlaa Jebran8-May-07 23:17 
Generalgreat! Pin
Rola saad8-May-07 21:50
memberRola saad8-May-07 21:50 
Questionwould you? Pin
Andromeda ..8-May-07 21:11
memberAndromeda ..8-May-07 21:11 
AnswerRe: would you? Pin
Alaa Jebran8-May-07 23:15
memberAlaa Jebran8-May-07 23:15 

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