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Posted 30 Jul 2007

ListView Personalization

, 30 Jul 2007
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An article on the personalization and persistance of ListView settings
Screenshot - Screen.jpg


I had the need to personalize a ListView frequently. As always, The Code Project was my first port of call. Like most good/lazy developers, I'd rather reuse than write from scratch unless I really have to. I found many articles which came close but never quite hit the mark. So I took Guy Baseke's article: Save ListView Settings and modified it to what I needed. I've also tried to include some best practices in the small library I've produced so that people who are not familiar with some of the community tools have a working example that they can refer to.


My biggest problem with the original sample is that it saved the settings to the registry. While this may be common practice, it does require write privileges for the registry which are frequently not available to all users. So it provided me with the perfect opportunity to read up on isolated storage which does not require elevated privileges.

Using the Code

Using the library is trivial. Simply populate your ListView in the most appropriate manner. You'll probably need an instance level ListViewPersonalisationManager variable to track the changes for before and after your personalization.


// Your ListView should be instantiated and populated, 
// create a unique guid for each ListView you wish to personalize. 
// The guid is used to differentiate each ListView you wish to personalize.

manager = new ListViewPersonalisationManager(listView1, id);
// If you have previous settings persisted, they will automatically be 
// applied to the ListView by the ListViewPersonalisationManager

Before displaying the personalization dialog, it is important to synchronize the ListView with the manager in case any columns have been moved or resized.

private void OnSettings(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    // Synchronize any changes made to ListView

    ColumnSettingsUI dialog = new ColumnSettingsUI(manager.ColumnDetails);
    if ( dialog.ShowDialog() == DialogResult.OK)

To persist the settings to disk:

// True to synchronize to the current state of the ListView or  
// false to use current manager state.

Points of Interest

Technology areas covered:

  • Isolated storage
  • Serialization
  • NUnit
  • NCover
  • NAnt
  • NDoc
  • FxCop


  • 30th July, 2007: Initial post


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


About the Author

Mark Ritchie
Germany Germany
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralYou smell Pin
john allan123410-Jul-09 2:42
memberjohn allan123410-Jul-09 2:42 
GeneralUserScopedSettings And ApplicationScopedSettingAttribute Pin
Michael Sync31-Jul-07 0:03
memberMichael Sync31-Jul-07 0:03 
AnswerRe: UserScopedSettings And ApplicationScopedSettingAttribute Pin
Mark Ritchie5-Aug-07 12:09
memberMark Ritchie5-Aug-07 12:09 

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