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Articles / Desktop Programming / Windows Forms
Posted 23 Aug 2007


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CheckBox Header Column For DataGridView

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4.84/5 (32 votes)
23 Aug 20071 min read
Presenting a solution for having CheckBox control in the header of DataGridView


This article will show you how to create CheckBoxHeaderColumn for DataGridView. It will expose CheckBoxClicked event which you can consume in your client application.


It is very common to have a list of items in DataGridView with a check box in the first column where your later action will depend on user selection. This can be very easily done by having a first column defined as DataGridViewCheckBoxCell object. But, how can your customer select all items in the list (let's say you are working on an email client app and the user wants to delete all of his 100 spams). This was the main idea to generate a class which will have a check box item in the header where the developer can have full control after the user checks/unchecks an item in the header. A common action is to check/uncheck all items in the DataGridView depending on whether the header is checked/unchecked.

Using the Code

The whole solution (control) is very simple and contains just one class DataGridViewCheckBoxHeaderCell.

On the client side, the developer just needs to define DataGridViewCheckBoxColumn and assign DataGridCheckBoxHeaderCell as a HeaderCell. Here is the code to do that:

DataGridViewCheckBoxColumn colCB = new DataGridViewCheckBoxColumn();
DatagridViewCheckBoxHeaderCell cbHeader = new DatagridViewCheckBoxHeaderCell();
colCB.HeaderCell = cbHeader;

As mentioned before, always user clicks on a Checkbox in the header object will fire CheckboxClicked event which you can consume in your application:

cbHeader.OnCheckBoxClicked += 
    new CheckBoxClickedHandler(cbHeader_OnCheckBoxClicked);

In the function cbHeader_OnCheckBoxClicked(), you can check/uncheck all of DataGridView rows or do any other action.

And here is a control source:

namespace TestRef
    public delegate void CheckBoxClickedHandler(bool state);
    public class DataGridViewCheckBoxHeaderCellEventArgs : EventArgs
        bool _bChecked;
        public DataGridViewCheckBoxHeaderCellEventArgs(bool bChecked)
            _bChecked = bChecked;
        public bool Checked
            get { return _bChecked; }
    class DatagridViewCheckBoxHeaderCell : DataGridViewColumnHeaderCell
        Point checkBoxLocation;
        Size checkBoxSize;
        bool _checked = false;
        Point _cellLocation = new Point();
        System.Windows.Forms.VisualStyles.CheckBoxState _cbState = 
        public event CheckBoxClickedHandler OnCheckBoxClicked;
        public DatagridViewCheckBoxHeaderCell()

        protected override void Paint(System.Drawing.Graphics graphics, 
            System.Drawing.Rectangle clipBounds, 
            System.Drawing.Rectangle cellBounds, 
            int rowIndex, 
            DataGridViewElementStates dataGridViewElementState, 
            object value, 
            object formattedValue, 
            string errorText, 
            DataGridViewCellStyle cellStyle, 
            DataGridViewAdvancedBorderStyle advancedBorderStyle, 
            DataGridViewPaintParts paintParts)
            base.Paint(graphics, clipBounds, cellBounds, rowIndex, 
                dataGridViewElementState, value, 
                formattedValue, errorText, cellStyle, 
                advancedBorderStyle, paintParts);
            Point p = new Point();
            Size s = CheckBoxRenderer.GetGlyphSize(graphics, 
            p.X = cellBounds.Location.X + 
                (cellBounds.Width / 2) - (s.Width / 2) ;
            p.Y = cellBounds.Location.Y + 
                (cellBounds.Height / 2) - (s.Height / 2);
            _cellLocation = cellBounds.Location;
            checkBoxLocation = p;
            checkBoxSize = s;
            if (_checked)
                _cbState = System.Windows.Forms.VisualStyles.
                _cbState = System.Windows.Forms.VisualStyles.
            (graphics, checkBoxLocation, _cbState);

        protected override void OnMouseClick(DataGridViewCellMouseEventArgs e)
            Point p = new Point(e.X + _cellLocation.X, e.Y + _cellLocation.Y);
            if (p.X >= checkBoxLocation.X && p.X <= 
                checkBoxLocation.X + checkBoxSize.Width 
            && p.Y >= checkBoxLocation.Y && p.Y <= 
                checkBoxLocation.Y + checkBoxSize.Height)
                _checked = !_checked;
                if (OnCheckBoxClicked != null)

I hope you will find this article helpful while this is a solution used in our cross database comparison tool for selecting rows for synchronization between databases. Besides this, you can easily extend and fully customize painting of the CheckBox control, introduce tri state CheckBoxes and do many others as with the normal CheckBox.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Software Developer (Senior)
Austria Austria
Working as a .NET and database developer

Comments and Discussions

BugFirst Row is not getting updated. Pin
sejaltanna28-May-17 23:51
Membersejaltanna28-May-17 23:51 
QuestionUncheck box when a button is selected Pin
Member 1302199324-Feb-17 6:59
MemberMember 1302199324-Feb-17 6:59 
QuestionTo the Author - Usage of this piece of code for Official purposes Pin
SharathNS4-Apr-16 21:57
MemberSharathNS4-Apr-16 21:57 
SuggestionMy vote of 5 Pin
Kyaw Zin Soe13-Dec-15 23:11
MemberKyaw Zin Soe13-Dec-15 23:11 
QuestionUse Pin
aramosvizcarra28-Aug-14 3:26
Memberaramosvizcarra28-Aug-14 3:26 
AnswerRe: Use Pin
DLM@TD25-Sep-14 8:14
MemberDLM@TD25-Sep-14 8:14 
SuggestionVersion based on CheckBoxState: unchecked, checked, mixed and normal, hot, pressed Pin
dethtroll27-Jan-12 5:16
Memberdethtroll27-Jan-12 5:16 
Questiona version Pin
jtxd30-Dec-11 15:32
Memberjtxd30-Dec-11 15:32 
AnswerRe: a version Pin
Brent Murphy11-Jan-12 3:27
MemberBrent Murphy11-Jan-12 3:27 
GeneralRe: a version Pin
tallion18-Nov-12 13:33
Membertallion18-Nov-12 13:33 
QuestionSetting 'DataPropertyName' stopped the OnCheckBoxClicked event firing Pin
trevormcalister17-Aug-11 4:31
Membertrevormcalister17-Aug-11 4:31 
AnswerRe: Setting 'DataPropertyName' stopped the OnCheckBoxClicked event firing Pin
mohammad forutan31-Jul-12 21:15
Membermohammad forutan31-Jul-12 21:15 
GeneralThanks Pin
YZK30-Mar-11 0:03
MemberYZK30-Mar-11 0:03 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
JunfengGuo9-Mar-11 12:26
MemberJunfengGuo9-Mar-11 12:26 
AnswerEven much simpler and a way to remove checkbox in an individual cell of in an CheckboxColumn Pin
loibl24-Mar-09 5:53
Memberloibl24-Mar-09 5:53 
GeneralRe: Even much simpler and a way to remove checkbox in an individual cell of in an CheckboxColumn Pin
Christian Snook5-Nov-14 5:02
MemberChristian Snook5-Nov-14 5:02 
QuestionHow to uncheck the header check box when user click on the grid cell and uncheck any of the check box Pin
ravikrmishra10-Feb-09 22:20
Memberravikrmishra10-Feb-09 22:20 
AnswerRe: Solution: to uncheck the header check box when user click on the grid cell and uncheck any of the check box Pin
Viji Raj1-Jul-09 10:30
MemberViji Raj1-Jul-09 10:30 
GeneralRe: Solution: to uncheck the header check box when user click on the grid cell and uncheck any of the check box Pin
Marpri22-Mar-12 0:55
MemberMarpri22-Mar-12 0:55 
GeneralRe: Solution: to uncheck the header check box when user click on the grid cell and uncheck any of the check box Pin
mdimran2477-Jan-16 2:28
Membermdimran2477-Jan-16 2:28 
GeneralAppend check box after a column label Pin
TuttiFiesta30-Jan-09 3:48
MemberTuttiFiesta30-Jan-09 3:48 
GeneralRe: Append check box after a column label Pin
TuttiFiesta30-Jan-09 4:23
MemberTuttiFiesta30-Jan-09 4:23 
GeneralOne more thing needed.... Pin
Janette M Layton1-May-08 13:49
MemberJanette M Layton1-May-08 13:49 
GeneralEvent not registered Pin
Aschmutt8-Feb-08 5:42
MemberAschmutt8-Feb-08 5:42 
GeneralRe: Event not registered Pin
Aschmutt11-Feb-08 2:15
MemberAschmutt11-Feb-08 2:15 

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